The Economics of Consanguinity
The institution of consanguineous marriage - a marriage contracted between close biological relatives - has been a basic building block of many societies in different parts of the world. This paper argues that the practice of consanguinity is closely related to the practice of dowry, and that both arise in response to an agency problem between the families of a bride and a groom. When marriage contracts are incomplete, dowries transfer control rights to the party with the highest incentives to invest in a marriage. When these transactions are costly however, consanguinity can be a more appropriate response since it directly reduces the agency cost. Our model predicts that dowry transfers are less likely to be observed in consanguineous unions, and that close-kin marriages are more prevalent at both extremes of the wealth distribution. An empirical analysis using data from Bangladesh delivers results consistent with the predictions of the model, lending strong support to our theory.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm|
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.:
- Vijayendra Rao, .
"The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India,"
University of Chicago - Population Research Center
91-6, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- 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 666-77, August.
- Shareen Joshi, 2004. "Female Household-Headship in Rural Bangladesh: Incidence, Determinants and Impact on Children's Schooling Shareen Joshi," Working Papers 894, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Michael Peters & Aloysius Siow, 2002.
"Competing Premarital Investments,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 592-608, June.
- Michael Peters & Aloysius Siow, 2001. "Competing Premarital Investment," Working Papers peters-01-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Michael Peters & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Competing Pre-marital Investments," Working Papers peters-00-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Francis Bloch & Vijayendra Rao, 2002.
"Terror as a Bargaining Instrument: A Case Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1029-1043, September.
- Bloch, Francis & Rao, Vijayendra, 1999. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument : A Case-Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1999020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
- Bloch, Francis & Rao, Vijayendra, 2000. "Terror as a bargaining instrument : a case study of dowry violence in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2347, The World Bank.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993.
"Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- La Ferrara, Eliana, 2003.
"Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3705, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1730-1751, December.
- Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000.
Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers
0200, Econometric Society.
- Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 1999. "Why Dowries?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 95, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2007.
"Watta satta : bride exchange and women's welfare in rural Pakistan,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
4126, The World Bank.
- Hanan G. Jacoby & Ghazala Mansuri, 2010. "Watta Satta: Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1804-25, September.
- 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.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987.
"Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India,"
7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
- 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 905-26, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0653. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jake Dyer)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.