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The Economics of Consanguineous Marriages

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  • Quy-Toan Do

    (World Bank)

  • Sriya Iyer

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Shareen Joshi

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

This paper provides an economic rationale for the practice of consanguineous marriages observed in parts of the developing world. In a model of incomplete marriage markets, dowries are viewed as ex ante transfers made from the bride's family to the groom's family when the promise of ex post gifts and bequests is not credible. Consanguineous unions join families between whom ex ante pledges are enforceable ex post. The model predicts a negative relationship between consanguinity and dowries and higher bequests in consanguineous unions. An empirical analysis based on data from Bangladesh delivers results consistent with the model. © 2013 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 Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 904-918

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:3:p:904-918

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Keywords: marriage; consanguinity; dowry; bequests; commitment;

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References

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  1. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Why Dowries?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0200, Econometric Society.
  2. Bloch, Francis & Rao, Vijayendra, 1999. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument : A Case-Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1999020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. 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.
  4. Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1730-1751, December.
  5. Do, Q-T & Iyer, S. & Joshi, S., 2006. "The Economics of Consanguinity," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0653, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2006. "Parental Wealth and Adult Children's Welfare in Marriage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 496-509, August.
  7. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2007. "Watta satta : bride exchange and women's welfare in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4126, The World Bank.
  8. Michael Peters & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Competing Pre-marital Investments," Working Papers peters-00-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Barbara Cavalletti & Corrado Lagazio & Daniela Vandone & Elena Lagomarsino, 2012. "The role of financial position on consumer indebted-ness. An empirical analysis in Italy," DEP - series of economic working papers 8/2012, University of Genoa, Research Doctorate in Public Economics.
  2. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2007. "Watta satta : bride exchange and women's welfare in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4126, The World Bank.
  3. Marco Alfano, 2014. "Daughters, Dowries, Deliveries:The Effect of Marital Payments on Fertility Choices in India," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1413, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

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