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Islamic law and investments in children: evidence from the Sharia introduction in Nigeria

Marco Alfano ()
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Marco Alfano: Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde

No 2003, Working Papers from University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics

Abstract: Islamic law lays down detailed rules regulating children’s upbringing. This study examines the effect of such rules on investments in children by analysing the introduction of Sharia law in northern Nigeria. Difference-in-differences and triple-differences estimates across time, administrative areas and religions show increases in the duration of breastfeeding and child survival. Geospatial discontinuities further show effects for Muslims but not Christians living close to the border. Evidence also shows that these effects concur with a rise in women’s birth rates. Moreover, findings suggest increases in gender gaps; young boys benefit more than girls and adult women’s intra-household bargaining power decreases.

Keywords: Breastfeeding; Infant Survival; Islam; Nigeria (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 J13 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 54 pages
Date: 2020-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-isf
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