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Ethnicity, Marriage and Family Income

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  • Matz, Julia Anna

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Matz, Julia Anna, 2013. "Ethnicity, Marriage and Family Income," Discussion Papers 154935, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:154935
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/154935/files/DP180.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-926, August.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 33-72, May.
    5. Daniel Ayalew Ali & Stefan Dercon & Madhur Gautam, 2011. "Property rights in a very poor country: tenure insecurity and investment in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 75-86, January.
    6. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    7. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
    8. Delia Furtado & Stephen J. Trejo, 2013. "Interethnic marriages and their economic effects," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 15, pages 276-292 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Julia Anna Matz, 2016. "Productivity, Rank, and Returns in Polygamy," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(5), pages 1319-1350, October.
    10. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
    11. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:04:p:709-725_07 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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).
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    Cited by:

    1. Stimpfle, Alexander & Stadelmann, David, 2016. "Marriage Age Affects Educational Gender Inequality: International Evidence," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145492, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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