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New Roles for Marriage in Urban Africa: Kinship Networks and the Labor Market in Kenya

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  • Nancy Luke
  • Kaivan Munshi

Abstract

This paper explores new roles that traditionally rural kinship networks organized around the marriage institution might play in improving labor market outcomes in urban Africa. Using new data from Kisumu, Kenya, and controlling for selection into marriage, we find that marriage significantly increases employment levels and incomes in our sample of migrants. At the same time, marriage increases the remittances that migrants send to the extended family, consistent with the view that the benefits of the network come with additional social obligations. These obligations appear to be borne disproportionately by high-ability individuals, who consequently defer marriage. The negative selection into marriage that we uncover has consequences for the future viability of the urban networks, with implications for long-term growth and distribution in this economy. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 264-282

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:88:y:2006:i:2:p:264-282

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Cited by:
  1. Krishnan, Pramila & Sciubba, Emanuela, 2008. "Links and Architecture in Village Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 6787, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Shing-Yi Wang, 2011. "Marriage Networks, Nepotism and Labor Market Outcomes in China," Working Papers id:4287, eSocialSciences.
  3. Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Vaillant, Julia, 2014. "Inputs, Gender Roles or Sharing Norms? Assessing the Gender Performance Gap Among Informal Entrepreneurs in Madagascar," IZA Discussion Papers 8046, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ming Lu & Jianzhi Zhao, 2009. "The Contribution of Social Networks to Income Inequality in Rural China: A Regression-Based Decomposition and Cross-Regional Comparison," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-019, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2007. "Marriage, schooling, and excess mortality in prime-age adults: Evidence from South Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 691, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Matz, Julia Anna, 2013. "Ethnicity, Marriage and Family Income," Discussion Papers 154935, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  7. Chinhui Juhn & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Belgi Turan, 2013. "HIV and fertility in Africa: first evidence from population-based surveys," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 835-853, July.
  8. Yamamura, Eiji, 2014. "Identity, Nostalgia and Happiness among Migrants: The Case of the Kōshien High School Baseball Tournament in Japan," MPRA Paper 53776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Mano, Yukichi & Yamano, Takashi & Suzuki, Aya & Matsumoto, Tomoya, 2011. "Local and Personal Networks in Employment and the Development of Labor Markets: Evidence from the Cut Flower Industry in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1760-1770.
  10. Delia Furtado & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2009. "Intermarriage and Immigrant Employment: The Role of Networks," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 3-2009, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  11. Hideaki Goto & Yukichi Mano, 2012. "Labor market competitiveness and the size of the informal sector," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 495-509, January.
  12. Yabiku, Scott T. & Agadjanian, Victor & Cau, Boaventura, 2012. "Labor migration and child mortality in Mozambique," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2530-2538.

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