Can Population Growth Cause Dowry Inflation? Theory and the Indian Evidence
AbstractThe empirical evidence on the role of a demographic marriage squeeze in the Indian dowry inflation of the last century has been mixed. Moreover, Anderson (2005) argues in a theoretical setting, that a population growth-led marriage squeeze must cause dowry deflation if the spousal age gap is to narrow over time. In this paper, I show that the apparently contradictory findings of the economic literature are perfectly consistent with each other. I demonstrate, using Anderson’s theoretical framework, that a demographic squeeze may lead to higher dowries in the periods of the squeeze compared with periods of no squeeze. Furthermore, I show that data drawn from such a dowry path can replicate the results obtained in the empirical literature on the Indian dowry inflation. I conclude that a demographic marriage squeeze remains a plausible explanation for the Indian dowry inflation.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by York University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2006_10.
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Dowry; Marriage squeeze; Population growth;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
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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.:
- Anderson, Siwan, 2007.
"Why the marriage squeeze cannot cause dowry inflation,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 140-152, November.
- Anderson, K.S., 2000. "Why the Marriage Squeeze Cannot Cause Dowry Inflation," Discussion Paper 2000-86, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- 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.
- 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.
- Raj Arunachalam & Trevon Logan, 2008. "Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?," NBER Working Papers 13905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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