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Why the Marriage Squeeze Cannot Cause Dowry Inflation

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  • Anderson, K.S.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

It has been argued that rising dowry payments are caused by population growth.According to that explanation, termed the `marriage squeeze', a population increase leads to an excess supply of brides since men marry younger women.As a result, dowry payments rise in order to clear the marriage market.The explanation is essentially static; unmarried brides do not re-enter the marriage market.This paper demonstrates that the marriage squeeze argument cannot explain dowry inflation in a proper dynamic framework.In fact, when women, who do not find matches at the `desirable' marrying age, re-enter the marriage market as older brides, (as is the case in areas undergoing dowry inflation), the marriage squeeze argument is shown to imply dowry deflation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2000-86.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200086

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Related research

Keywords: population dynamics; marriage; costs;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Donald Akers, 1967. "On Measuring the Marriage Squeeze," Demography, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 907-924, June.
  3. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Why Dowries?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0200, Econometric Society.
  4. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Bagnoli, Mark, 1993. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 185-202, February.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Lena Edlund, 2000. "The Marriage Squeeze Interpretation of Dowry Inflation: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1327-1333, December.
  8. Robert Schoen, 1983. "Measuring the tightness of a marriage squeeze," Demography, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 61-78, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Indraneel Dasgupta, & Pushkar Maitra, & Diganta Mukherjee, . "'Arranged' Marriage, Co-Residence and Female Schooling: a Model with Evidence from India," Discussion Papers 06/03, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  2. Neelakantan, Urvi & Tertilt, Michèle, 2008. "A note on marriage market clearing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 103-105, November.
  3. V. Bhaskar, 2011. "Sex Selection and Gender Balance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 214-44, February.
  4. Ray, Debraj, 2007. "Introduction to development theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 1-10, November.
  5. Ahmed Mobarak & Randall Kuhn & Christina Peters, 2013. "Consanguinity and Other Marriage Market Effects of a Wealth Shock in Bangladesh," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(5), pages 1845-1871, October.
  6. Nazia Mansoor, 2011. "Marriage payments and bargaining power of women in rural Bangladesh," Studies in Economics 1119, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  7. Raj Arunachalam & Trevon Logan, 2008. "Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?," NBER Working Papers 13905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sudeshna Maitra, 2006. "Population Growth and Rising Dowries: The Long-Run Mechanism of a Marriage Squeeze," Working Papers 2006_9, York University, Department of Economics.
  9. Sudeshna Maitra, 2006. "Can Population Growth Cause Dowry Inflation? Theory and the Indian Evidence," Working Papers 2006_10, York University, Department of Economics.
  10. Anja Sautmann, 2011. "Partner Search and Demographics: The Marriage Squeeze in India," Working Papers 2011-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Hiroyuki Yamada, 2013. "Superstition effects versus cohort effects: is it bad luck to be born in the year of the fire horse in Japan?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 259-283, June.

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