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Watta satta : bride exchange and women's welfare in rural Pakistan

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  • Jacoby, Hanan G.
  • Mansuri, Ghazala

Abstract

In a setting where husbands wield considerable coercive power, forms of marriage should adapt to protect the interests of women and their families. The authors study the pervasive marriage custom of watta satta in rural Pakistan, a bride exchange between families coupled with a mutual threat of retaliation. They show that watta satta may be a mechanism to coordinate the actions of two sets of in-laws, each of whom wish to restrain their sons-in-law but who only have the ability to restrain their sons. The authors'empirical results support this view. The likelihood of marital inefficiency, as measured by estrangement, domestic abuse, and wife's mental health, is significantly lower in watta satta arrangements as compared with conventional marriages, but only after properly accounting for selection.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4126.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4126

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Keywords: Population&Development; Anthropology; Education and Society; Gender and Law; Gender and Law;

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Cited by:
  1. Løken, Katrine & Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Lundberg, Shelly, 2011. "Your place or mine? On the residence choice of young couples in Norway," CEPR Discussion Papers 8640, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Quy-Toan Do & Sriya Iyer & Shareen Joshi, 2013. "The Economics of Consanguineous Marriages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 904-918, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Do, Q-T & Iyer, S. & Joshi, S., 2006. "The Economics of Consanguinity," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0653, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Farre, Lidia, 2013. "The role of men in the economic and social development of women : implications for gender equality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6323, The World Bank.

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