The economics of consanguineous marriages
AbstractThe institution of consanguineous marriage-a marriage contracted between close biological relatives-has been a basic building block of many societies in different parts of the world. This paper argues that the practice of consanguinity is closely related to the practice of dowry, and that both arise in response to an agency problem between the families of a bride and a groom. When marriage contracts are incomplete, dowries transfer control rights to the party with the highest incentives to invest in a marriage. When these transactions are costly however, consanguinity can be a more appropriate response since it directly reduces the agency cost. The paper's model predicts that dowry transfers are less likely to be observed in consanguineous unions. It also emphasizes the effect of credit constraints on the relative prevalence of dowry payment and consanguinity. An empirical analysis using data from Bangladesh delivers robust results consistent with the predictions of the model.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4085.
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Anthropology; Population Policies; Education and Society; Population&Development; Gender and Law;
Other versions of this item:
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- 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.
- La Ferrara, Eliana, 2003. "Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana," CEPR Discussion Papers 3705, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Michael Peters & Aloysius Siow, 2000.
"Competing Pre-marital Investments,"
peters-00-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bloch, Francis & Rao, Vijayendra, 2000.
"Terror as a bargaining instrument : a case study of dowry violence in rural India,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2347, The World Bank.
- 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.
- 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).
- Hanan G. Jacoby & Ghazala Mansuri, 2010.
"Watta Satta: Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1804-25, September.
- 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.
- Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 1999.
Boston University - Institute for Economic Development
95, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Why Dowries?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0200, Econometric Society.
- 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.
- 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.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Do, Q-T & Iyer, S. & Joshi, S., 2006. "The Economics of Consanguinity," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0653, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.