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Measuring child marriage

Author

Listed:
  • Minh Cong Nguyen

    () (World Bank)

  • Quentin Wodon

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

Child or early marriage is recognized as an important development and human rights issue that affects girls especially in many developing countries. The practice has been linked to psychological, health, and education risks. These negative impacts explain why in many countries child marriage has been prohibited by law but often with little effect. While child marriage has been recognized as a major issue, its measurement has remained unsophisticated. Existing studies tend to simply report the incidence of child marriage, that is the share of girls who marry early within a population. Yet, the consequences of child marriage are not the same whether one marries at the age of 12 versus 18. Typically, the cost of child marriage for health, education, and well-being is much larger when the girl marries very early. This paper suggests that it would be straightforward to use the techniques of poverty measurement in order to provide richer information on the extent of child marriage, including its depth and severity apart from its incidence, and to test for the robustness of child marriage comparisons between groups or over time to the age threshold used to identify child marriage. An illustration is provided for Nigeria.

Suggested Citation

  • Minh Cong Nguyen & Quentin Wodon, 2012. "Measuring child marriage," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 398-411.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00616
    as

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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2012/Volume32/EB-12-V32-I1-P36.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Azeema Faizunnisa & Minhaj Ul Haque, 2003. "Adolescent Reproductive Health: The Role of Agency and Autonomy," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 42(4), pages 569-583.
    2. Elena Bardasi & Quentin Wodon, 2010. "Working Long Hours and Having No Choice: Time Poverty in Guinea," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 45-78.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Early Childbirth in Mozambique," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24564, The World Bank.
    2. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Early Childbirth in Nigeria," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24560, The World Bank.
    3. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of the Child Marriage in Guinea," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25469, The World Bank.
    4. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in the Dominican Republic," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24386, The World Bank.
    5. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Early Childbirth in Mauritania," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24563, The World Bank.
    6. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Early Childbirth in the Republic of Congo," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24387, The World Bank.
    7. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Uganda," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24763, The World Bank.
    8. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Early Childbirth in the Dominican Republic," Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Knowledge Briefs 105917, The World Bank.
    9. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Mozambique," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24552, The World Bank.
    10. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Early Childbirth in Nepal," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24550, The World Bank.
    11. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in the Republic of Congo," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25471, The World Bank.
    12. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Mauritania," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24551, The World Bank.
    13. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Egypt," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25467, The World Bank.
    14. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Nigeria," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24547, The World Bank.
    15. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in the Democratic Republic of Congo," Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Knowledge Briefs 105918, The World Bank.
    16. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Ghana," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25464, The World Bank.
    17. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Chad," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25474, The World Bank.
    18. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Nepal," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24546, The World Bank.
    19. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Ethiopia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25465, The World Bank.
    20. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Burkina Faso," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25473, The World Bank.
    21. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Bangladesh," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25472, The World Bank.
    22. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Early Childbirth in Pakistan," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24561, The World Bank.
    23. Chata Malé & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Child Marriage in Pakistan," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24548, The World Bank.
    24. Chata Male & Quentin Wodon, 2016. "Basic Profile of Early Childbirth in Mali," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24562, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child marriage; measurement; poverty analysis; Nigeria;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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