Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in India
AbstractIn contrast to most dowry-oriented societies in which payments have declined with modernization, those in India have undergone significant inflation over the last five decades. This paper explains the difference between these two experiences by focusing on the role played by caste. The theoretical model contrasts caste- and non-caste-based societies: in the former, there exists an inherited component to status (caste) that is independent of wealth, and in the latter, wealth is the primary determinant of status. Modernization is assumed to involve two components: increasing average wealth and increasing wealth dispersion within status (or caste) groups. The paper shows that, in caste-based societies, the increases in wealth dispersion that accompany modernization necessarily lead to increases in dowry payments, whereas in non-caste-based societies, increased dispersion has no real effect on dowry payments and increasing average wealth causes the payments to decline.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 111 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Eeckhout, Jan, 2000. "On the uniqueness of stable marriage matchings," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-8, October.
- Antonio Merlo & Cristina Echevarria, 1997.
"Gender differences in education in a dynamic household bargaining model,"
Working Papers. Serie AD
1997-25, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
- Echevarria, Cristina & Merlo, Antonio, 1999. "Gender Differences in Education in a Dynamic Household Bargaining Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(2), pages 265-86, May.
- Cristina Echevarria & Antonio Merlo, 1995. "Gender differences in education in a dynamic household bargaining model," Staff Report 195, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Dixon, Ruth B, 1982. "Mobilizing Women for Rural Employment in South Asia: Issues of Class, Caste, and Patronage," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 373-90, January.
- Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000.
Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers
0200, Econometric Society.
- Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 1999. "Why Dowries?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 95, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stuard, Susan Mosher, 1981. "Dowry Increase and Increments in Wealth in Medieval Ragusa (Dubrovnik)," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(04), pages 795-811, December.
- Junsen Zhang & William Chan, 1999. "Dowry and Wife's Welfare: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 786-808, August.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.