Modernization, inter-caste marriage, and dowry: An analytical perspective
As economic growth and development occurs in India, it has been thought that dowry would decline as an institution. However, the practice of dowry has rapidly spread to regions in India where previously it was not extensively practiced and dowry inflation may be occurring. In this paper, a simple analytical model of dowry, based upon caste determined status differentials, is developed. The model assumes that some inter-caste marriage occurs. The implications of the model are that gross dowry inflation is fueled by economic growth, but net dowry remains unchanged. More importantly, unequal growth stimulates an expansion of the practice of dowry to lower castes.
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