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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. Bergstrom, T. & Bagnoli, M., 1991. "Courtship as a waiting game," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 386, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Francis Bloch & Vijayendra Rao, 2002. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument: A Case Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1029-1043, September.
  3. Donald Akers, 1967. "On Measuring the Marriage Squeeze," Demography, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 907-924, June.
  4. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2003. "Why Dowries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1385-1398, September.
  5. Rao, Vijayendra, 1993. "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 666-77, August.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Robert Schoen, 1983. "Measuring the tightness of a marriage squeeze," Demography, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 61-78, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ray, Debraj, 2007. "Introduction to development theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 1-10, November.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Anja Sautmann, 2011. "Partner Search and Demographics: The Marriage Squeeze in India," Working Papers 2011-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Neelakantan, Urvi & Tertilt, Michèle, 2008. "A note on marriage market clearing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 103-105, November.
  6. 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.
  7. Raj Arunachalam & Trevon Logan, 2008. "Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?," NBER Working Papers 13905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Bhaskar, V, 2010. "Sex selection and gender balance," MPRA Paper 22698, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Sudeshna Maitra, 2006. "Can Population Growth Cause Dowry Inflation? Theory and the Indian Evidence," Working Papers 2006_10, York University, Department of Economics.
  11. Nazia Mansoor, 2011. "Marriage payments and bargaining power of women in rural Bangladesh," Studies in Economics 1119, Department of Economics, University of Kent.

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