Islamic Law and Investments in Children: Evidence from the Sharia introduction in Nigeria

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Pages1-53
Number of pages54
Volume20
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • infant survival
  • Islam
  • Nigeria
  • gender gaps
  • economics
  • investment

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