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Marriage and Assortative Matching in Rural Ethiopia

  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Agnes Quisumbing

This paper examines the determinants of human and physical capital at marriage. Using detailed data from rural Ethiopia, we Þnd ample evidence of assortative matching at marriage. Assets brought to marriage are distributed in a highly unequal manner. Sorting operates at a variety of levels - wealth, schooling, and work experience - that cannot be summarized into a single additive index. For Þrst unions, assets brought to marriage are positively associated with parents. wealth, indicating that a bequest motive affects assets at marriage. Unlike most brides, grooms appear to accumulate individual assets over time and over marriages. The marriage market is a major conduit for rural and gender inequality.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2002-21.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2002-21
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  1. 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 712-32, August.
  2. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & de la Briere, Benedicte, 2000. "Women's assets and intrahousehold allocation in rural Bangladesh," FCND discussion papers 86, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. 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.
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
  5. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes Quisumbing, 2002. "Assets at Marriage in Rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-22, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Bergstrom, Theodore C., 1993. "A survey of theories of the family," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 21-79 Elsevier.
  7. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Maluccio, John A., 2000. "Intrahousehold allocation and gender relations," FCND discussion papers 84, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. 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.
  9. Jacoby, Hanan G, 1995. "The Economics of Polygyny in Sub-Saharan Africa: Female Productivity and the Demand for Wives in Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 938-71, October.
  10. Yang, Dennis Tao, 1997. "Education and Off-Farm Work," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(3), pages 613-32, April.
  11. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes Quisumbing, 2000. "Control and ownership of assets within rural Ethiopian households," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-27, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  12. Quisumbing, A.R., 1991. "Intergenerational Transfers in Philippine Rice Villages: Gender Differences in Traditional Inheritance Customs," Papers 632, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  13. Roth,Alvin E. & Sotomayor,Marilda A. Oliveira, 1992. "Two-Sided Matching," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521437882, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Bulletins 7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  16. Webb, Patrick & von Braun, Joachim & Yohannes, Yisehac, 1992. "Famine in Ethiopia: policy implications of coping failure at national and household levels," Research reports 92, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  17. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & DEC, 1994. "Intrahousehold resource allocation : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1255, The World Bank.
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