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Ethnicity, Marriage and Family Income

  • Matz, Julia Anna

This study adds a microeconomic perspective to the discussion on ethnic diversity and economic performance in developing countries by investigating the motivation for intra-ethnicity marriage in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, the paper proposes that ethnic similarity between spouses enhances economic outcomes through a shared agricultural production technology. Furthermore, the framework suggests that the probability of marriage within the same ethnic group is positively related to the size of the group due to frictions in the marriage market: Search costs for co-ethnic spouses are larger the smaller the group. The theoretical propositions are supported using Ethiopian rural household data by demonstrating that inter-ethnicity marriage of the household head has adverse implications for family income. The negative effect is robust to controlling for lagged income and initial conditions, present when investigating the link with changes in family wealth, and persists in additional sensitivity checks.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/154935
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Paper provided by University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF) in its series Discussion Papers with number 154935.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:154935
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  1. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond The Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, And The Evolution Of Ethnic And Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988, August.
  2. Delia Furtado & Stephen Trejo, 2012. "Interethnic Marriages and their Economic Effects," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1205, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther & Ghatak, Maitreesh & Lafortune, Jeanne, 2009. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," CEPR Discussion Papers 7300, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Stefan Dercon & Daniel Ayalew, 2005. "Property Rights in a Very Poor Country: Tenure Insecurity and Investment in Ethiopia," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-021, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Habyarimana, James P. & Humphreys, Macartan & Posner, Daniel N. & Weinstein, Jeremy, 2006. "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Crewett, Wibke & Bogale, Ayalneh & Korf, Benedikt, 2008. "Land tenure in Ethiopia: Continuity and change, shifting rulers, and the quest for state control," CAPRi working papers 91, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2010. "Does Labor Diversity Affect Firm Productivity?," Working Papers 10-12, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  8. Julia Anna Matz, 2011. "Productivity, Rank and Returns in Polygamy," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp390, IIIS, revised Jul 2012.
  9. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  10. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
  11. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Bulletins 7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  12. Nancy Luke & Kaivan Munshi, 2006. "New Roles for Marriage in Urban Africa: Kinship Networks and the Labor Market in Kenya," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 264-282, May.
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