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Paying for Violence? Spousal Abuse and Son Preference in India
Authors: Shatanjaya Dasgupta, and Erin K. Fletcher
Source: Journal of Development Studies, 54(7): 1217-1231; DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2017.1366450
Topic(s): Domestic violence
Son preference
Country: Asia
  India
Published: JUL 2018
Abstract: We find a puzzling correlation in the data on domestic violence and children’s outcomes in India. Using the 2005–2006 National Family and Health Survey, we see that girls in families experiencing spousal violence are less worse off than boys when only fathers report a son preference while the gender bias reverses when only mothers report having a son preference. To shed light on the puzzle in the data, we present a non-cooperative theoretical framework based in economic theories of domestic violence, whereby differing parental son preference and bargaining over investments in girl and boy children potentially explains the observed relationship.