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Dowry and Intrahousehold Bargaining: Evidence from China

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  • Philip H. Brown

Abstract

This paper analyzes the relationship between a woman’s intrahousehold bargaining position and her welfare within marriage using household data from rural China. Simultaneity problems are overcome by using dowry to proxy for bargaining position. Omitted variable bias is addressed by using grain shocks in the year preceding marriage as an instrument for dowry. Instrumented dowry positively impacts numerous measures of a wife’s welfare, including household purchases, the time allocation of household members, and the woman’s satisfaction with life, offering strong evidence in support of collective models of the household.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip H. Brown, 2009. "Dowry and Intrahousehold Bargaining: Evidence from China," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:44:y:2009:i1:p25-46
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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