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The Economics of Female Genital Cutting

Author

Listed:
  • Chesnokova Tatyana

    () (University of Adelaide)

  • Vaithianathan Rhema

    () (University of Auckland)

Abstract

The practice of female genital cutting (FGC) has a long history in Africa and it is thought that over 130 million females alive today have undergone the practice. In this paper, we model FGC as a pre-marital investment. We show how the rat-race nature of the marriage market may result in inefficiently high equilibrium levels of FGC. We argue that in this case, regulation results in a (potential) Pareto improvement and that even weak regulation can be effective in eradicating FGC.

Suggested Citation

  • Chesnokova Tatyana & Vaithianathan Rhema, 2010. "The Economics of Female Genital Cutting," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-28, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:64
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2005. "Assets at marriage in rural Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 1-25, June.
    2. Nancy Luke & Kaivan Munshi, 2006. "New Roles for Marriage in Urban Africa: Kinship Networks and the Labor Market in Kenya," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 264-282, May.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, April.
    4. Michael Peters & Aloysius Siow, 2002. "Competing Premarital Investments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 592-608, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 2001. "Transplants and Implants: The Economics of Self-Improvement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 597-616, August.
    7. Echenique, Federico & Edlin, Aaron, 2004. "Mixed equilibria are unstable in games of strategic complements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 61-79, September.
    8. Shell-Duncan, Bettina, 2001. "The medicalization of female "circumcision": harm reduction or promotion of a dangerous practice?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1013-1028, April.
    9. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rai, Birendra & Sengupta, Kunal, 2013. "Pre-marital confinement of women: A signaling and matching approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 48-63.
    2. Elisabetta de Cao & Clemens Lutz, 2015. "Measuring attitudes regarding female genital mutilation through a list experiment," CSAE Working Paper Series 2015-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Jean-Philippe Platteau & Guilia Camilotti & Emmanuelle Auriol, 2017. "Eradicating women-hurting customs: What role for social engineering?," WIDER Working Paper Series 145, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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