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The Anticipation Effect of Marriage on Female Education: Theory and Evidence from Nepal

Author

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  • Jafarey, S.
  • Mainali, R. M.
  • Montes-Rojas, G.

Abstract

We study the impact of planned age at marriage on female education. We first develop a theoretical framework for jointly determining age at marriage and education. The framework hypothesises that due to a household division of labour that allocates relatively greater responsibility for housework on wives, parents discount their daughters’ schooling, with the discount increasing the earlier the planned age of marriage. We then test for this effect using household data from Nepal. We control for potential endogeneity by exploiting variations in cultural norms regarding dowry and differences in average age of female marriage among ethnicities and regions as instrumental variables. The econometric results validate our hypothesis that female education is negatively affected by cultural practices that favour early marriage.

Suggested Citation

  • Jafarey, S. & Mainali, R. M. & Montes-Rojas, G., 2014. "The Anticipation Effect of Marriage on Female Education: Theory and Evidence from Nepal," Working Papers 15/12, Department of Economics, City University London.
  • Handle: RePEc:cty:dpaper:15/12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Cameron, Lisa A & Worswick, Christopher, 2001. "Education Expenditure Responses to Crop Loss in Indonesia: A Gender Bias," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 351-363, January.
    3. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard, 1994. "Education, Marriage, and First Conception in Malaysia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 1167-1204.
    4. Yasuyuki Sawada, 1997. "Human Capital Investments in Pakistan: Implications of Micro Evidence from Rural Households," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 36(4), pages 695-712.
    5. Ambrus, Attila & Field, Erica, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Scholarly Articles 3200264, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, 2006. "Returns to Education in Bangladesh," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 453-468.
    7. Francesco C. Billari & Alexia Prskawetz & Johannes Fürnkranz, 2002. "The cultural evolution of age-at-marriage norms," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-018, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    8. Erica Field & Attila Ambrus, 2008. "Early Marriage, Age of Menarche, and Female Schooling Attainment in Bangladesh," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 881-930, October.
    9. 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..
    10. Monazza Aslam, 2009. "Education Gender Gaps in Pakistan: Is the Labor Market to Blame?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 747-784, July.
    11. Sajal Lahiri & Sharmistha Self, 2007. "Gender Bias in Education: the Role of Inter‐household Externality, Dowry and other Social Institutions," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 591-606, November.
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    Keywords

    Education; Marriage; Gender;

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