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Consanguinity and Other Marriage Market Effects of a Wealth Shock in Bangladesh

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  • Ahmed Mobarak

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  • Randall Kuhn
  • Christina Peters

Abstract

This paper uses a wealth shock from the construction of a flood protection embankment in rural Bangladesh coupled with data on the universe of all 52,000 marriage decisions between 1982 and 1996 to examine changes in marital prospects for households protected by the embankment relative to unprotected households living on the other side of the river. We use difference-in-difference specifications to document that brides from protected households commanded larger dowries, married wealthier households, and became less likely to marry biological relatives. Financial liquidity-constrained households appear to use within-family marriage (in which one can promise ex-post payments) as a form of credit to meet up-front dowry demands, but the resultant wealth shock for households protected by the embankment relaxed this need to marry consanguineously. Our results shed light on the socioeconomic roots of consanguinity, which carries health risks for offspring but can also carry substantial benefits for the families involved. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed Mobarak & Randall Kuhn & Christina Peters, 2013. "Consanguinity and Other Marriage Market Effects of a Wealth Shock in Bangladesh," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(5), pages 1845-1871, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:5:p:1845-1871
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-013-0208-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Heath, Rachel & Mushfiq Mobarak, A., 2015. "Manufacturing growth and the lives of Bangladeshi women," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 1-15.
    2. Anukriti, S & Dasgupta, Shatanjaya, 2017. "Marriage Markets in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 10556, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Kumar, Neha & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2014. "Gender and resilience:," IFPRI book chapters,in: Fan, Shenggen & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul & Yosef, Sivan (ed.), 2013 Global Food Policy Report, chapter 17 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Rozenn Hotte & Karine Marazyan, 2017. "Demand for Insurance and Within-Kin-Group Marriage: Evidence from a Western African Country," Working Papers 20170005, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, UMR Développement et Sociétés.

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