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Womens Individual and Joint Property Ownership: Effects on Household Decisionmaking

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Document pages: 36 pages

Abstract: Increasingly, women’s property rights are seen as important for both equity and efficiency reasons. While there has been debate in the literature about women are better off with individual rights in contrast to rights jointly with their husband, little empirical work has analyzed this question. In this paper, the relationship of women’s individual and joint property ownership and the level of women’s input into household decisionmaking is explored with data from India, Mali, Malawi, and Tanzania. In the three African countries, women with individual landownership have greater input into household decisionmaking than women whose landownership is joint; both have more input than women who are not landowners. The relationship with other household decisions is more mixed, as is the relationship between housing and input into household decisionmaking. No similar relationship is found in Orissa, India.

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