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Marriage, Bequest, and Assortative Matching in Rural Ethiopia

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  • Fafchamps, Marcel
  • Quisumbing, Agnes R

Abstract

This article examines the determinants of human and physical capital at marriage. Using detailed data from rural Ethiopia, we find that assets brought to marriage are distributed in a highly unequal manner. For first unions, assets brought to marriage are positively associated with parents' wealth, indicating that a bequest motive affects assets at marriage. Parental wealth affects the inheritance of neither groom nor bride. Sibling competition from brothers affects grooms' inheritance, but sisters have no effect. The marriage market is a major conduit for rural and gender inequality, although avenues do exist for couples to accumulate wealth over their life cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R, 2005. "Marriage, Bequest, and Assortative Matching in Rural Ethiopia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 347-380, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2005:v:53:i:2:p:347-80
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/425373
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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. Junsen Zhang & William Chan, 1999. "Dowry and Wife's Welfare: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 786-808, August.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, April.
    4. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jonathan Morduch, 2000. "Sibling Rivalry in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 405-409, May.
    6. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1994. "Intergenerational transfers in Philippine rice villages : Gender differences in traditional inheritance customs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 167-195, April.
    7. Boulier, Bryan L & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1984. "Schooling, Search, and Spouse Selection: Testing Economic Theories of Marriage and Household Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(4), pages 712-732, August.
    8. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing, 1999. "Human Capital, Productivity, and Labor Allocation in Rural Pakistan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 369-406.
    9. Jonna P. Estudillo & JAgnes R. Quisumbing & JoKeijiro Otsuka, 2001. "Gender Differences in Land Inheritance and Schooling Investments in the Rural Philippines," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(1), pages 130-143.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mani, Subha & Hoddinott, John & Strauss, John, 2012. "Long-term impact of investments in early schooling — Empirical evidence from rural Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 292-299.
    2. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Reprint of development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 765-778.
    3. Mani, Subha & Hoddinott, John & Strauss, John, 2010. "Long-term impact of investments in early schooling," IFPRI discussion papers 981, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Kumar, Neha & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2012. "Beyond “Death Do Us Part”: The Long-Term Implications of Divorce Perceptions on Women’s Well-Being and Child Schooling in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2478-2489.
    5. Julia Anna Matz, 2016. "Productivity, Rank, and Returns in Polygamy," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(5), pages 1319-1350, October.
    6. Dokken, Therere, 2013. "Land tenure in Tigray: How large is the gender bias?," CLTS Working Papers 5/13, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    7. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 459-472.
    8. Gray, Clark & Mueller, Valerie, 2012. "Drought and Population Mobility in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 134-145.
    9. Rogg, Christian, 2006. "Asset Portfolios in Africa: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," WIDER Working Paper Series 145, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Cohen, Marc J. & Lemma, Mamusha, 2011. "Agricultural extension services and gender equality: An institutional analysis of four districts in Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1094, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Kenjiro Yagura, 2015. "Effect of intergenerational asset transfers on land distribution in rural Cambodia: case studies of three rice-growing villages," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(2), pages 173-186, March.
    12. Subha Mani & John Hoddinott & John Strauss, 2009. "Determinants of Schooling Outcomes: Empirical Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2009-03, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    13. Lim, Sung Soo & Winter-Nelson, Alex & Arends-Kuenning, Mary, 2007. "Household Bargaining Power and Agricultural Supply Response: Evidence from Ethiopian Coffee Growers," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1204-1220, July.
    14. Marcel Fafchamps & Bereket Kebede & Agnes R. Quisumbing, 2009. "Intrahousehold Welfare in Rural Ethiopia," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(4), pages 567-599, August.
    15. Subha Mani & John Hoddinott & John Strauss, 2009. "Long-Term Impact of Investments in Early Schooling – Empirical Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2009-09, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    16. Seebens, Holger, 2006. "Bargaining over Fertility in Rural Ethiopia," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2006 25, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.

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