IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/jopoec/v29y2016i1p135-166.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

On the heterogeneity of dowry motives

Author

Listed:
  • Raj Arunachalam
  • Trevon Logan

Abstract

Dowries have been modeled as pre-mortem bequests to daughters or as groom-prices paid to in-laws. These two classes of models yield mutually exclusive predictions, but empirical tests of these predictions have been mixed. We draw from historical evidence that suggests a bifurcated marriage market, in which some households use dowries as a bequest and others use dowries as a price. The competing theories of dowry allow us to structure an exogenous switching regression that places households in the price or bequest regime. The empirical strategy allows for multiple checks on the validity of regime assignment. Using retrospective marriage data from rural Bangladesh, we find evidence of heterogeneity in dowry motives; that bequest dowries have declined in prevalence and amount over time; and that bequest households are better off compared to price households on a variety of welfare measures. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Raj Arunachalam & Trevon Logan, 2016. "On the heterogeneity of dowry motives," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 135-166, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:29:y:2016:i:1:p:135-166
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-015-0544-1
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-015-0544-1
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s00148-015-0544-1?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rao, Vijayendra, 1993. "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 666-677, August.
    2. Garcia, Rene & Lusardi, Annamaria & Ng, Serena, 1997. "Excess Sensitivity and Asymmetries in Consumption: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(2), pages 154-176, May.
    3. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2003. "Why Dowries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1385-1398, September.
    4. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph P. Lupton, 2007. "To Leave or Not to Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 207-235.
    5. Sheng Guo, 2014. "Switching Regression Estimates Of The Intergenerational Persistence Of Consumption," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(4), pages 1503-1524, October.
    6. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 792-805, September.
    7. Attila Ambrus & Erica Field & Maximo Torero, 2010. "Muslim Family Law, Prenuptial Agreements, and the Emergence of Dowry in Bangladesh," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1349-1397.
    8. Morduch, Jonathan J. & Stern, Hal S., 1997. "Using mixture models to detect sex bias in health outcomes in Bangladesh," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 259-276, March.
    9. Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Polygyny, Fertility, and Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1341-1370, December.
    10. Vijayendra Rao, 2000. "The Marriage Squeeze Interpretation of Dowry Inflation: Response," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1334-1336, December.
    11. Francis Bloch & Vijayendra Rao & Sonalde Desai, 2004. "Wedding Celebrations as Conspicuous Consumption: Signaling Social Status in Rural India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
    12. Francis Bloch & Vijayendra Rao, 2002. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument: A Case Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1029-1043, September.
    13. Siwan Anderson, 2003. "Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 269-310, April.
    14. Tullio Jappelli & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Nicholas S. Souleles, 1998. "Testing For Liquidity Constraints In Euler Equations With Complementary Data Sources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 251-262, May.
    15. repec:fth:pennfi:69 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Vakis, Renos & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Cafiero, Carlo, 2004. "Testing for Separability in Household Models with Heterogeneous Behavior: A Mixture Model Approach," CUDARE Working Papers 25016, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    17. Lena Edlund, 2000. "The Marriage Squeeze Interpretation of Dowry Inflation: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1327-1333, December.
    18. Junsen Zhang & William Chan, 1999. "Dowry and Wife's Welfare: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 786-808, August.
    19. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, March.
    20. Sekhri, Sheetal & Storeygard, Adam, 2014. "Dowry deaths: Response to weather variability in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 212-223.
    21. Marco Alfano, 2014. "Daughters, Dowries, Deliveries:The Effect of Marital Payments on Fertility Choices in India," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1413, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    22. Dalmia, Sonia, 2004. "A hedonic analysis of marriage transactions in India: estimating determinants of dowries and demand for groom characteristics in marriage," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 235-255, September.
    23. Trevon D. Logan & Raj Arunachalam, 2014. "Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 81-94, June.
    24. Amalavoyal V. Chari & Annemie Maertens, 2011. "Learning your Child's Price Evidence from Data on Projected Dowry in Rural India," Working Papers 899, RAND Corporation.
    25. N. Kabeer, 2001. "Ideas, Economics and 'the Sociology of Supply': Explanations for Fertility Decline in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 29-70.
    26. William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1985. "Testing Dual Labor Market Theory: A Reconsideration of the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Rochona Majumdar, 2004. "SnehalataÃŒs death: Dowry and womenÃŒs agency in colonial Bengal," The Indian Economic & Social History Review, , vol. 41(4), pages 433-464, December.
    28. Lee, Lung-Fei & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Switching Regression Models with Imperfect Sample Separation Information-With an Application on Cartel Stability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 391-418, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Shyamal Chowdhury & Debdulal Mallick & Prabal Roy Chowdhury, 2017. "Natural Shock and Marriage Markets: Evolution of Mehr and Dowry in Muslim Marriages," Discussion Papers 17-02, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi.
    2. Tomas Lichard & Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2012. "Measuring the Shadow Economy: Endogenous Switching Regression with Unobserved Separation," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 438, Hunter College Department of Economics.
    3. Momoe Makino, 2019. "Marriage, dowry, and women’s status in rural Punjab, Pakistan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 769-797, July.
    4. Calvi, Rossella & Keskar, Ajinkya, 2021. "'Til Dowry Do Us Part: Bargaining and Violence in Indian Families," CEPR Discussion Papers 15696, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Siwan Anderson, 2007. "The Economics of Dowry and Brideprice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 151-174, Fall.
    6. Anukriti, S & Dasgupta, Shatanjaya, 2017. "Marriage Markets in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 10556, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Mallick, Debdulal & Roy Chowdhury, Prabal, 2020. "Natural shocks and marriage markets: Fluctuations in mehr and dowry in Muslim marriages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    8. Maertens, Annemie & Chari, A.V., 2020. "What’s Your Child Worth? An Analysis of Expected Dowry Payments in Rural India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    9. Villar, Paola, 2021. "Paternal mortality, early marriages, and marital trajectories in Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    10. Trevon D. Logan & Raj Arunachalam, 2014. "Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 81-94, June.
    11. Self, Sharmistha & Grabowski, Richard, 2009. "Modernization, inter-caste marriage, and dowry: An analytical perspective," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 69-76, January.
    12. Menon, Seetha, 2014. "Unfinished lives: the effect of domestic violence on neonatal & infant mortality," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-27, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    13. Momoe Makino, 2019. "Dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women’s inheritance rights," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 287-321, March.
    14. Jane Lankes & Mary K. Shenk & Mary C. Towner & Nurul Alam, 2022. "Dowry Inflation: Perception or Reality?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 41(4), pages 1641-1672, August.
    15. Bishai, David & Grossbard, Shoshana, 2007. "Far Above Rubies: The Association Between Bride Price and Extramarital Sexual Relations in Uganda," IZA Discussion Papers 2982, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Maitra Sudeshna, 2018. "Population dynamics and marriage payments: an analysis of the long run equilibrium in India," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 1-26, June.
    17. Momoe Makino, 2021. "Female labour force participation and dowries in Pakistan," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(3), pages 569-593, April.
    18. Tomáš Lichard & Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2021. "Hidden in plain sight: using household data to measure the shadow economy," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 60(3), pages 1449-1476, March.
    19. Menon, Seetha, 2020. "The effect of marital endowments on domestic violence in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    20. Geetika Dang & Vani S. Kulkarni & Raghav Gaiha, 2018. "Why Dowry Deaths Have Risen in India?," ASARC Working Papers 2018-03, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Anukriti, S. & Kwon, Sungoh & Prakash, Nishith, 2022. "Saving for dowry: Evidence from rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    2. Marco Alfano, 2014. "Daughters, Dowries, Deliveries:The Effect of Marital Payments on Fertility Choices in India," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1413, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    3. Bhalotra, Sonia & Chakravarty, Abhishek & Gulesci, Selim, 2020. "The price of gold: Dowry and death in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    4. Alfano, Marco, 2017. "Daughters, dowries, deliveries: The effect of marital payments on fertility choices in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 89-104.
    5. Jacob, Arun, 2016. "Gender Bias in Educational Attainment in India : The Role of Dowry Payments," MPRA Paper 76338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Lucia Corno & Nicole Hildebrandt & Alessandra Voena, 2020. "Age of Marriage, Weather Shocks, and the Direction of Marriage Payments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(3), pages 879-915, May.
    7. Shyamal Chowdhury & Debdulal Mallick & Prabal Roy Chowdhury, 2017. "Natural Shock and Marriage Markets: Evolution of Mehr and Dowry in Muslim Marriages," Discussion Papers 17-02, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi.
    8. S Anukriti & Sungoh Kwon & Nishith Prakash, 2018. "Household Savings and Marriage Payments: Evidence from Dowry in India," Working papers 2018-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    9. Soumyanetra Munshi, 2014. "'Arranged' Marriage, Education, and Dowry: A Contract-Theoretic Perspective," Working Papers id:5696, eSocialSciences.
    10. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Mallick, Debdulal & Roy Chowdhury, Prabal, 2020. "Natural shocks and marriage markets: Fluctuations in mehr and dowry in Muslim marriages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    11. Jane Lankes & Mary K. Shenk & Mary C. Towner & Nurul Alam, 2022. "Dowry Inflation: Perception or Reality?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 41(4), pages 1641-1672, August.
    12. Anja Sautmann, 2011. "Partner Search and Demographics: The Marriage Squeeze in India," Working Papers 2011-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    13. Momoe Makino, 2021. "Female labour force participation and dowries in Pakistan," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(3), pages 569-593, April.
    14. Momoe Makino, 2019. "Marriage, dowry, and women’s status in rural Punjab, Pakistan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 769-797, July.
    15. Momoe Makino, 2019. "Dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women’s inheritance rights," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 287-321, March.
    16. Andrew Francis, 2011. "Sex ratios and the red dragon: using the Chinese Communist Revolution to explore the effect of the sex ratio on women and children in Taiwan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 813-837, July.
    17. Calvi, Rossella & Keskar, Ajinkya, 2021. "Dowries, resource allocation, and poverty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 268-303.
    18. Maitra Sudeshna, 2018. "Population dynamics and marriage payments: an analysis of the long run equilibrium in India," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 1-26, June.
    19. Indraneel Dasgupta, & Pushkar Maitra, & Diganta Mukherjee, 2006. "'Arranged' Marriage, Co-Residence and Female Schooling: a Model with Evidence from India," Discussion Papers 06/03, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    20. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing & IFPRI, 2006. "Household Formation and Marriage Markets," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-039, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dowries; Marriage transfers; Switching models; C34; D10; J12;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:29:y:2016:i:1:p:135-166. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.