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Partner Search and Demographics: The Marriage Squeeze in India

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Abstract

If women marry younger than men, increased population growth causes a sur- plus of women in the marriage market. This paper introduces search frictions into a matching model with transferable utility and age-dependent match payo s to study if this so-called marriage squeeze has caused a dowry \in ation" in India. Using data from Karnataka it is shown that the observed shifts in the age distributions and sex ratio of unmarried men and women during the marriage squeeze lead to higher dowries conditional on the partners' ages. A GMM estimate of the model parameters suggests that average dowries have increased as well.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2011-12.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2011-12

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Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912

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  1. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-57, July.
  2. Erica Field & Attila Ambrus, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 881-930, October.
  3. Coles, Melvyn & Masters, Adrian, 2000. "Retraining and long-term unemployment in a model of unlearning by not doing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1801-1822, October.
  4. Siwan Anderson, 2007. "The Economics of Dowry and Brideprice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 151-174, Fall.
  5. Anderson, Siwan, 2007. "Why the marriage squeeze cannot cause dowry inflation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 140-152, November.
  6. Raj Arunachalam & Trevon Logan, 2008. "Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?," NBER Working Papers 13905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Why Dowries?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0200, Econometric Society.
  8. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1997. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Working Paper Series 481, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Ambrus, Attila & Field, Erica, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Scholarly Articles 3200264, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2009. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," NBER Working Papers 15093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Neelakantan, Urvi & Tertilt, Michèle, 2008. "A note on marriage market clearing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 103-105, November.
  14. Ted Bergstrom & David Lam, . "The Effect of Cohort Sizes on Marriage Markets in Twentieth Century Sweden," Papers _029, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. Lena Edlund, 2006. "The Price of Marriage: Net vs. Gross Flows and the South Asian Dowry Debate," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 542-551, 04-05.
  17. 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.
  18. Bergstrom, T. & Lam, D., 1991. "The Two-Sex Problem and the Marriage Squeeze in an Equilibrium Model of Mariage Market," Papers 91-7, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  19. Maddison, Angus, 1983. "A Comparison of Levels of GDP Per Capita in Developed and Developing Countries, 1700–1980," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 27-41, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Scott Fulford, 2013. "The changing geography of gender in India," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 833, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Scott Fulford, 2012. "The Puzzle of Marriage Migration in India," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 820, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 22 Oct 2013.

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