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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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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. Raj Arunachalam & Trevon Logan, 2008. "Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?," NBER Working Papers 13905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2010. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," Discussion Papers, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research 09-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  3. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2003. "Why Dowries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1385-1398, September.
  4. 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, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 27-41, March.
  5. Ted Bergstrom & David Lam, . "The Effect of Cohort Sizes on Marriage Markets in Twentieth Century Sweden," Papers, University of Michigan, Department of Economics _029, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
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  7. Siwan Anderson, 2003. "Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 269-310, April.
  8. Coles, Melvyn & Masters, Adrian, 2000. "Retraining and long-term unemployment in a model of unlearning by not doing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1801-1822, October.
  9. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
  10. Anderson, K.S., 2000. "Why the Marriage Squeeze Cannot Cause Dowry Inflation," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 2000-86, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. 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, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 542-551, 04-05.
  12. Siwan Anderson, 2007. "The Economics of Dowry and Brideprice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 151-174, Fall.
  13. Ambrus, Attila & Field, Erica, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Scholarly Articles 3200264, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Erica Field & Attila Ambrus, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 881-930, October.
  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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 666-77, August.
  16. 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), Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) 1999020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  17. Junsen Zhang & William Chan, 1999. "Dowry and Wife's Welfare: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 786-808, August.
  18. Neelakantan, Urvi & Tertilt, Michèle, 2008. "A note on marriage market clearing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 103-105, November.
  19. Bergstrom, T. & Lam, D., 1991. "The Two-Sex Problem and the Marriage Squeeze in an Equilibrium Model of Mariage Market," Papers, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory 91-7, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
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Cited by:
  1. Scott Fulford, 2012. "The Puzzle of Marriage Migration in India," Boston College Working Papers in Economics, Boston College Department of Economics 820, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 22 Oct 2013.
  2. Scott Fulford, 2013. "The changing geography of gender in India," Boston College Working Papers in Economics, Boston College Department of Economics 833, Boston College Department of Economics.

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