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A cut above the rest? Private anthropometrics in marriage markets

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  • Wilson, Nicholas
  • Janicki, Martha

Abstract

A large body of economic research suggests that publicly observable anthropometric characteristics affect labor and marriage market outcomes. Private anthropometrics may not affect these outcomes. We examine male circumcision in marriage markets in Zambia. Our analysis reveals substantial variation across local marriage markets in circumcision prevalence relative to preference for circumcised partners, as well as excess aggregate demand for circumcised males. Regression estimates suggest a marriage market premium of approximately one-half to one year of additional schooling for matching with a partner of preferred anthropometric type in a local marriage market with excess demand for that anthropometric characteristic.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilson, Nicholas & Janicki, Martha, 2016. "A cut above the rest? Private anthropometrics in marriage markets," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 164-179.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:23:y:2016:i:c:p:164-179
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2016.08.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anthropometrics; Circumcision; HIV/AIDS; Marriage markets; Matching markets; Zambia;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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