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Why the marriage squeeze cannot cause dowry inflation

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  • Anderson, Siwan

Abstract

It has been argued that rising dowry payments are caused by population growth.According to that explanation, termed the `marriage squeeze', a population increase leads to an excess supply of brides since men marry younger women.As a result, dowry payments rise in order to clear the marriage market.The explanation is essentially static; unmarried brides do not re-enter the marriage market.This paper demonstrates that the marriage squeeze argument cannot explain dowry inflation in a proper dynamic framework.In fact, when women, who do not find matches at the `desirable' marrying age, re-enter the marriage market as older brides, (as is the case in areas undergoing dowry inflation), the marriage squeeze argument is shown to imply dowry deflation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 137 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (November)
Pages: 140-152

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:137:y:2007:i:1:p:140-152

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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References

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  1. Bloch, Francis & Rao, Vijayendra, 2000. "Terror as a bargaining instrument : a case study of dowry violence in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2347, The World Bank.
  2. Lena Edlund, 2000. "The Marriage Squeeze Interpretation of Dowry Inflation: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1327-1333, December.
  3. Bergstrom, T. & Bagnoli, M., 1990. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Papers 90-12, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  4. Anderson, K.S., 2001. "Why Dowry Payments Declined With Modernisation in Europe but are Rising in India," Discussion Paper 2001-7, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Donald Akers, 1967. "On Measuring the Marriage Squeeze," Demography, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 907-924, June.
  6. Vijayendra Rao, . "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-6, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  7. Robert Schoen, 1983. "Measuring the tightness of a marriage squeeze," Demography, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 61-78, February.
  8. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 1999. "Why Dowries?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 95, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
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Cited by:
  1. Dasgupta, Indraneel & Maitra, Pushkar & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2008. "‘Arranged’ Marriage, Co-Residence and Female Schooling: A Model with Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 3336, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ahmed Mobarak & Randall Kuhn & Christina Peters, 2013. "Consanguinity and Other Marriage Market Effects of a Wealth Shock in Bangladesh," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(5), pages 1845-1871, October.
  3. V. Bhaskar, 2011. "Sex Selection and Gender Balance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 214-44, February.
  4. Ray, Debraj, 2007. "Introduction to development theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 1-10, November.
  5. Sudeshna Maitra, 2006. "Population Growth and Rising Dowries: The Long-Run Mechanism of a Marriage Squeeze," Working Papers 2006_9, York University, Department of Economics.
  6. Sudeshna Maitra, 2006. "Can Population Growth Cause Dowry Inflation? Theory and the Indian Evidence," Working Papers 2006_10, York University, Department of Economics.
  7. Neelakantan, Urvi & Tertilt, Michèle, 2008. "A note on marriage market clearing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 103-105, November.
  8. Nazia Mansoor, 2011. "Marriage payments and bargaining power of women in rural Bangladesh," Studies in Economics 1119, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  9. Raj Arunachalam & Trevon Logan, 2008. "Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?," NBER Working Papers 13905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hiroyuki Yamada, 2013. "Superstition effects versus cohort effects: is it bad luck to be born in the year of the fire horse in Japan?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 259-283, June.
  11. Anja Sautmann, 2011. "Partner Search and Demographics: The Marriage Squeeze in India," Working Papers 2011-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.

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