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Marriage Institutions and Sibling Competition: Evidence from South Asia

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  • Tom S. Vogl

Abstract

Using data from South Asia, this article examines how arranged marriage cultivates rivalry among sisters. During marriage search, parents with multiple daughters reduce the reservation quality for an older daughter's groom, rushing her marriage to allow sufficient time to marry off her younger sisters. Relative to younger brothers, younger sisters increase a girl's marriage risk; relative to younger singleton sisters, younger twin sisters have the same effect. These effects intensify in marriage markets with lower sex ratios or greater parental involvement in marriage arrangements. In contrast, older sisters delay a girl's marriage. Because girls leave school when they marry and face limited earning opportunities when they reach adulthood, the number of sisters has well-being consequences over the life cycle. Younger sisters cause earlier school-leaving, lower literacy, a match to a husband with less education and a less skilled occupation, and (marginally) lower adult economic status. Data from a broader set of countries indicate that these cross-sister pressures on marriage age are common throughout the developing world, although the schooling costs vary by setting. JEL Codes: J1, I25, O15. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Tom S. Vogl, 2013. "Marriage Institutions and Sibling Competition: Evidence from South Asia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1017-1072.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2013:i:3:p:1017-1072
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjt011
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anukriti, S & Dasgupta, Shatanjaya, 2017. "Marriage Markets in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 10556, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Jeanne Lafortune & Soohyung Lee, 2014. "All for One? Family Size and Children's Educational Distribution under Credit Constraints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 365-369, May.
    3. Pauline Morault, 2017. "Arranged Marriages under Transferable Utilities," Working Papers halshs-01537971, HAL.
    4. Stacey H. Chen & Yen-Chien Chen & Jin-Tan Liu, 2019. "The Impact of Family Composition on Educational Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(1), pages 122-170.
    5. Giulia La Mattina, 2014. "Civil Conflict, Sex Ratio and Intimate Partner Violence in Rwanda," Working Papers 0114, University of South Florida, Department of Economics.
    6. Makino, Momoe, 2015. "Marriage, dowry, and women's status in rural Punjab, Pakistan," IDE Discussion Papers 534, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    7. Kosec, Katrina & Ghebru, Hosaena & Holtemeyer, Brian & Mueller, Valerie & Schmidt, Emily, 2016. "The effect of land inheritance on youth employment and migration decisions: Evidence from rural Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1594, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Makino, Momoe, 2015. "Better than nothing? : dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women's inheritance rights," IDE Discussion Papers 537, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    9. repec:kap:reveho:v:17:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11150-017-9377-x is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Majlesi, Kaveh, 2014. "Demand for Low-Skilled Labor and Parental Investment in Children's Education: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2014:5, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    11. Giulia La Mattina, 2014. "Civil Conflict, Sex Ratio and Intimate Partner Violence in Rwanda," HiCN Working Papers 175, Households in Conflict Network.
    12. Marcella Alsan, 2017. "The Gendered Spillover Effect of Young Children's Health on Human Capital: Evidence from Turkey," NBER Working Papers 23702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Sebastian Galiani & Matthew Staiger & Gustavo Torrens, 2017. "When Children Rule: Parenting in Modern Families," NBER Working Papers 23087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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