Strategic Behavior and Marriage Payments: Theory and Evidence from Senegal
This article proposes an original theory of marriage payments based on insights gained from firsthand information collected in the Senegal River valley. This theory postulates that decisions about the bride-price, which are made by the bride's father, take into account the likely effects of the amount set on the risk of ill-treatment of the wife and the risk of marriage failure. Based on a sequential game with three players (the bride's father, the husband, and the wife) and a matching process, it leads to a number of important predictions that are tested against Senegalese data relating to bride-prices and various characteristics of women. The empirical results confirm that parents behave strategically by keeping bride-prices down so as to reduce the risk of marriage failure for their daughters. Other interesting effects on marriage payments and the probability of separation are also highlighted, stressing the role of the bride's bargaining power in her own family. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Volume (Year): 59 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
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References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"A Theory of Marriage: Part II,"
in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes Quisumbing, 2002.
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CSAE Working Paper Series
2002-22, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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- Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2004. "Assets at marriage in rural Ethiopia," FCND briefs 185, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes Quisumbing, 2000. "Assets at marriage in rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-28, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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