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The price of gold: Dowry and death in India

Sonia Bhalotra (), Abhishek Chakravarty and Selim Gulesci ()

Journal of Development Economics, 2020, vol. 143, issue C

Abstract: We provide evidence that dowry costs motivate son-preferring behaviors in India. Since gold is an integral part of dowry, we study parental responses to shocks in the world gold price. Exploiting monthly variation in gold prices across 35 years we find that monthly changes in gold prices lead to an increase in girl relative to boy neonatal mortality and that surviving girls are shorter. After the introduction of prenatal sex determination technology, we find that gold price shocks during pregnancy increase female foeticide.

Keywords: Dowry; Gold; Son preference; Missing girls; Neonatal mortality; Commodity price shocks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 J16 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Related works:
Working Paper: The Price of Gold: Dowry and Death in India (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Price of Gold: Dowry and Death in India (2016) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:deveco:v:143:y:2020:i:c:s0304387818306114

DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2019.102413

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