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Is There Dowry Inflation in South Asia?

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  • Trevon D. Logan
  • Raj Arunachalam

Abstract

This article is the first systematic attempt to measure the existence and degree of dowry inflation in South Asia. The popular press and scholarly literature have assumed dowry inflation in South Asia for some time, and there are now a number of theoretical papers that have attempted to explain the rise of dowries in South Asia. Despite these advances, there has been no systematic study of dowry inflation. Using large-sample retrospective survey data from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal, researchers assess the empirical evidence for dowry inflation. They find no evidence that real dowry amounts have systematically increased over time in South Asia.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:vhimxx:v:47:y:2014:i:2:p:81-94
    DOI: 10.1080/01615440.2014.880642
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Deolalikar, A.B. & Rao, V., 1990. "The Demand For Bride Characteristics And Dowry In Mariage: Empirical Estimates For Rural South India," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 90-22, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
    3. Anderson, Siwan, 2007. "Why the marriage squeeze cannot cause dowry inflation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 140-152, November.
    4. Sudeshna Maitra, 2006. "Can Population Growth Cause Dowry Inflation? Theory and the Indian Evidence," Working Papers 2006_10, York University, Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
    8. Neelakantan, Urvi & Tertilt, Michèle, 2008. "A note on marriage market clearing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 103-105, November.
    9. 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.
    10. Siwan Anderson, 2007. "The Economics of Dowry and Brideprice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 151-174, Fall.
    11. 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.
    12. Lena Edlund, 2006. "The Price of Marriage: Net vs. Gross Flows and the South Asian Dowry Debate," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 542-551, 04-05.
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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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:104:y:2018:i:c:p:326-335 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Anja Sautmann, 2011. "Partner Search and Demographics: The Marriage Squeeze in India," Working Papers 2011-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Zimmermann, Laura V, 2012. "It's a Boy! Women and Non-Monetary Benefits from a Son in India," IZA Discussion Papers 6847, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Roy, Sanchari, 2015. "Empowering women? Inheritance rights, female education and dowry payments in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 233-251.
    9. 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.
    10. Laura Zimmermann, 2012. "It’s a Boy! Women and Non-Monetary Benefits from a Son in India," Working Papers id:5178, eSocialSciences.
    11. Afzal, Sarwat, 2009. "To Estimate An Equation Explaining The Determinants Of Dowry," MPRA Paper 16046, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Jacob, Arun, 2016. "Gender Bias in Educational Attainment in India : The Role of Dowry Payments," MPRA Paper 76338, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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