IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v100y2010i4p1804-25.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Watta Satta: Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan

Author

Listed:
  • Hanan G. Jacoby
  • Ghazala Mansuri

Abstract

Can marriage institutions limit marital inefficiency? We study the pervasive custom of watta satta in rural Pakistan, a bride exchange between families coupled with a mutual threat of retaliation. Watta satta can be seen as a mechanism for coordinating the actions of two sets of parents, each wishing to restrain their son-in-law. We find that marital discord, as measured by estrangement, domestic abuse, and wife's mental health, is indeed significantly lower in watta satta versus "conventional" marriage, but only after accounting for selection bias. These benefits cannot be explained by endogamy, a marriage pattern associated with watta satta. (JEL J12, J16, O15, O18, Z13)

Suggested Citation

  • 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 1804-1825, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:4:p:1804-25
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.4.1804
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.100.4.1804
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/sept2010/20080045_data.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lena Edlund, 1999. "Son Preference, Sex Rations, and Marriage Patterns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1275-1304, December.
    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. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    4. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
    5. Rainer, Helmut, 2007. "Should we write prenuptial contracts?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 337-363, February.
    6. Junsen Zhang & William Chan, 1999. "Dowry and Wife's Welfare: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 786-808, August.
    7. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Hausman, Jerry A & Newey, Whitney K & Taylor, William E, 1987. "Efficient Estimation and Identification of Simultaneous Equation Models with Covariance Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 849-874, July.
    10. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
    11. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
    12. Lutz-Alexander Bush & Shouyong Shi & Quan Wen, 1998. "Bargaining with Surplus Destruction," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 915-932, November.
    13. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-540, September.
    14. Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Household bargaining over fertility: Theory and evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 215-241, June.
    15. 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.
    16. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2003. "Why Dowries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1385-1398, September.
    17. Fernandez, Raquel & Glazer, Jacob, 1991. "Striking for a Bargain between Two Completely Informed Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 240-252, March.
    18. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
    19. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 803-832, December.
    20. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 767, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
    22. Siwan Anderson, 2003. "Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 269-310, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Do, Q-T & Iyer, S. & Joshi, S., 2006. "The Economics of Consanguinity," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0653, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2015. "Crossing boundaries: How social hierarchy impedes economic mobility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 135-154.
    3. Katrine Løken & Kjell Lommerud & Shelly Lundberg, 2013. "Your Place or Mine? On the Residence Choice of Young Couples in Norway," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 285-310, February.
    4. Kudo, Yuya, 2017. "Why Is the Practice of Levirate Marriage Disappearing in Africa? HIV/AIDS as an Agent of Institutional Change," IDE Discussion Papers 627, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    5. Momoe Makino, 2019. "Marriage, dowry, and women’s status in rural Punjab, Pakistan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 769-797, July.
    6. Lídia Farré, 2013. "The Role of Men in the Economic and Social Development of Women: Implications for Gender Equality," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 22-51, February.
    7. Anukriti, S & Dasgupta, Shatanjaya, 2017. "Marriage Markets in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 10556, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. 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.
    9. Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke & Bram De Rock & Philip Verwimp, 2018. "The power of the family: kinship and intra-household decision making in rural Burundi," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 323-346, June.
    10. Sylvain Dessy & Setou Diarra & Roland Pongou, 2017. "Underage Brides and Grooms’ Education," Working Papers 1704E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    11. Bazarkulova, Dana & Compton, Janice, 2021. "Marriage traditions and investment in education: The case of bride kidnapping," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 147-163.
    12. Giulia La Mattina, 2014. "Civil Conflict, Sex Ratio and Intimate Partner Violence in Rwanda," Working Papers 0114, University of South Florida, Department of Economics.
    13. La Mattina, Giulia, 2017. "Civil conflict, domestic violence and intra-household bargaining in post-genocide Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 168-198.
    14. Makino, Momoe, 2015. "Better than nothing? : dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women's inheritance rights," IDE Discussion Papers 537, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    15. Momoe Makino, 2019. "Dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women’s inheritance rights," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 287-321, March.
    16. Ahmed Mobarak & Randall Kuhn & Christina Peters, 2013. "Consanguinity and Other Marriage Market Effects of a Wealth Shock in Bangladesh," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(5), pages 1845-1871, October.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jacob, Arun, 2016. "Gender Bias in Educational Attainment in India : The Role of Dowry Payments," MPRA Paper 76338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Momoe Makino, 2019. "Marriage, dowry, and women’s status in rural Punjab, Pakistan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 769-797, July.
    3. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing & IFPRI, 2006. "Household Formation and Marriage Markets," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-039, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Makino, Momoe, 2015. "Better than nothing? : dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women's inheritance rights," IDE Discussion Papers 537, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    5. Momoe Makino, 2019. "Dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women’s inheritance rights," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 287-321, March.
    6. V. Bhaskar, 2011. "Sex Selection and Gender Balance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 214-244, February.
    7. Raj Arunachalam & Trevon Logan, 2016. "On the heterogeneity of dowry motives," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 135-166, January.
    8. Philip H. Brown, 2009. "Dowry and Intrahousehold Bargaining: Evidence from China," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
    9. Iyigun, Murat & Walsh, Randall P., 2007. "Endogenous gender power, household labor supply and the demographic transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 138-155, January.
    10. Bhalotra, Sonia & Chakravarty, Abhishek & Gulesci, Selim, 2020. "The price of gold: Dowry and death in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    11. Soumyanetra Munshi, 2014. "'Arranged' Marriage, Education, and Dowry: A Contract-Theoretic Perspective," Working Papers id:5696, eSocialSciences.
    12. Srinivasan, Sharada & Bedi, Arjun S., 2007. "Domestic Violence and Dowry: Evidence from a South Indian Village," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 857-880, May.
    13. Do, Q-T & Iyer, S. & Joshi, S., 2006. "The Economics of Consanguinity," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0653, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. Matthew J. Baker, 2004. "Human Capital and Hold-ups in Indigenous Society: The Role of Customs and the Market," Departmental Working Papers 7, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    15. Anja Sautmann, 2011. "Partner Search and Demographics: The Marriage Squeeze in India," Working Papers 2011-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    16. Marcel Fafchamps & Bereket Kebede & Agnes R. Quisumbing, 2009. "Intrahousehold Welfare in Rural Ethiopia," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(4), pages 567-599, August.
    17. Mara José Montenegro Guerra & Sandeep Mohapatra & Brent Swallow, 2019. "What influence do empowered women have? Land and the reality of women’s relative power in Peru," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1225-1255, December.
    18. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Iyigun, Murat & Weiss, Yoram, 2008. "An Assignment Model with Divorce and Remarriage," IZA Discussion Papers 3892, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Bhaskar, Venkataraman, 2008. "Parental Sex Selection and Gender Balance," CEPR Discussion Papers 6876, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Michael Leung & Junsen Zhang, 2008. "Gender preference, biased sex ratio, and parental investments in single-child households," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 91-110, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Watta Satta: Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan (AER 2010) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:4:p:1804-25. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.