The Economics of Dowry and Brideprice
Payments between families at the time of marriage have existed throughout the history of most developed countries and are currently pervasive in many areas of the developing world. These payments can be substantial enough to affect the welfare of women and a society's distribution of wealth. Recent estimates document transfers per marriage amounting to four to six times annual household income. This paper first establishes some basic facts about the prevalence and magnitude of marriage payments. It then discusses how such patterns vary across countries depending upon economic conditions, societal structures, institutions, and family characteristics. Marriage payments have evolved within societies over time: in some periods, payments have risen sharply; in some cases, payments have shifted from the grooms' side to the brides', and vice versa; sometimes, property rights over such payments shift between marrying partners and parental generations. The second part of this paper discusses the economic literature devoted to explaining these facts.
Volume (Year): 21 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Philip H. Brown, 2003.
"Dowry and Intrahousehold Bargaining: Evidence from China,"
William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
2003-608, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Philip H. Brown, 2009. "Dowry and Intrahousehold Bargaining: Evidence from China," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
- 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.
- Habibi, Nader, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of the Prenuptial Agreement (Mahrieh) in Contemporary Iran," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 281-93, January.
- 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.
- 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.
- Raj Arunachalam & Trevon D. Logan, 2006. "On the Heterogeneity of Dowry Motives," NBER Working Papers 12630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- William L. Parish & Robert J. Willis, 1993.
"Daughters, Education, and Family Budgets Taiwan Experiences,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 863-898.
- William Parish & Robert J. Willis, . "Daughters, Education and Family Budgets: Taiwan Experiences," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 92-8a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Parish, W.L. & Willis, R.J., 1992. "Daughters, Education, and Family Budgets: Taiwan Experiences," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Stuard, Susan Mosher, 1981. "Dowry Increase and Increments in Wealth in Medieval Ragusa (Dubrovnik)," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(04), pages 795-811, December.
- Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Polygyny, Fertility, and Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1341-1370, December.
- 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.
- Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Determinants of Gender Equity in India: Examining Dyson and Moore's Thesis with New Data," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 239-268.
- Botticini, Maristella, 1999. "A Loveless Economy? Intergenerational Altruism and the Marriage Market in a Tuscan Town, 1415–1436," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(01), pages 104-121, March.
- Marleen Dekker & Hans Hoogeveen, 2002. "Bride Wealth and Household Security in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(1), pages 114-145, March.
- Bishai, David & Grossbard, Shoshana, 2007. "Far Above Rubies: The Association Between Bride Price and Extramarital Sexual Relations in Uganda," IZA Discussion Papers 2982, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Jacoby, Hanan G, 1995. "The Economics of Polygyny in Sub-Saharan Africa: Female Productivity and the Demand for Wives in Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 938-71, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:21:y:2007:i:4:p:151-174. 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: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.