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The Economics of Consanguineous Marriages

Author

Listed:
  • Quy-Toan Do

    (World Bank)

  • Sriya Iyer

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Shareen Joshi

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

This paper provides an economic rationale for the practice of consanguineous marriages observed in parts of the developing world. In a model of incomplete marriage markets, dowries are viewed as ex ante transfers made from the bride's family to the groom's family when the promise of ex post gifts and bequests is not credible. Consanguineous unions join families between whom ex ante pledges are enforceable ex post. The model predicts a negative relationship between consanguinity and dowries and higher bequests in consanguineous unions. An empirical analysis based on data from Bangladesh delivers results consistent with the model. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Quy-Toan Do & Sriya Iyer & Shareen Joshi, 2013. "The Economics of Consanguineous Marriages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 904-918, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:3:p:904-918
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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. Hanan G. Jacoby & Ghazala Mansuri, 2010. "Watta Satta: Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1804-1825, September.
    3. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2003. "Why Dowries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1385-1398, September.
    4. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    5. Do, Q-T & Iyer, S. & Joshi, S., 2006. "The Economics of Consanguinity," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0653, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1730-1751, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2006. "Parental Wealth and Adult Children's Welfare in Marriage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 496-509, August.
    9. Michael Peters & Aloysius Siow, 2002. "Competing Premarital Investments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 592-608, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hanan G. Jacoby & Ghazala Mansuri, 2010. "Watta Satta: Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1804-1825, September.
    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. 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.
    4. Gregory K. Dow & Clyde G. Reed & Simon Woodcock, 2016. "The Economics Of Exogamous Marriage In Small-Scale Societies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(4), pages 1805-1823, October.
    5. Barbara Cavalletti & Corrado Lagazio & Daniela Vandone & Elena Lagomarsino, 2012. "The role of financial position on consumer indebted-ness. An empirical analysis in Italy," DEP - series of economic working papers 8/2012, University of Genoa, Research Doctorate in Public Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    marriage; consanguinity; dowry; bequests; commitment;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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