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On the Timing of Marriage, Cattle, and Shocks


  • Johannes Hoogeveen
  • Bas van der Klaauw
  • Gijsbert van Lomwel


In this paper, we focus on the timing of marriage of women, whose marriages are associated with bride wealth payments. These payments concern transfers from (the family of) the groom to the bride's family. Unmarried daughters could, therefore, be considered part of the asset portfolio of the household that, at times of need, can be cashed. We investigate, both theoretically and empirically, to what extent the timing of marriage of a daughter is affected by the economic conditions of the household from which she originates. We distinguish household-specific wealth levels and two types of shocks: correlated (weather) shocks and idiosyncratic (wealth) shocks. We estimate a duration model using a unique panel survey of Zimbabwean smallholder farmers. The estimation results support the hypothesis that the timing of marriage is affected by household characteristics; girls from households that experienced a negative idiosyncratic (wealth) shock are more likely to marry.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Hoogeveen & Bas van der Klaauw & Gijsbert van Lomwel, 2011. "On the Timing of Marriage, Cattle, and Shocks," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 121-154.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/661215

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marleen Dekker & Hans Hoogeveen, 2002. "Bride Wealth and Household Security in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(1), pages 114-145, March.
    2. Kinsey, Bill & Burger, Kees & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1998. "Coping with drought in Zimbabwe: Survey evidence on responses of rural households to risk," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-110, January.
    3. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    4. Bardhan, Pranab & Udry, Christopher, 1999. "Development Microeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773719, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Romano, Donato & Carraro, Alessandro, 2015. "Price Shocks, Vulnerability and Food and Nutrition Security among Rural and Urban Households in Tanzania," 2015 Fourth Congress, June 11-12, 2015, Ancona, Italy 207281, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).

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