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On the Timing of Marriage, Cattle, and Shocks

Listed author(s):
  • 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.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/661215
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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/661215
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 60 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 121-154

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/661215
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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  1. Bardhan, Pranab & Udry, Christopher, 1999. "Development Microeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773719.
  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. 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.
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