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Why Dowries?

  • Maristella Botticini
  • Aloysius Siow

When married daughters leave their parental home and their married brothers do not, altruistic parents provide dowries for daughters and bequests for sons in order to solve a free riding problem between their married sons and daughters. The theory has predictions on the form of the dowry contract, the effect of family demographics on the value of the dowry, and the decline of dowries in previously dowry giving societies. The theory is consistent with cross-section dowry data from medieval Italy. It is also consistent with the factors that eld to the decline of dowries in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Paper provided by Boston University, Institute for Economic Development in its series Boston University - Institute for Economic Development with number 95.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:bosecd:95
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  1. Ted Bergstrom, . "Primogeniture, Monogamy, and Reproductive Success in a Stratified Society," Papers _025, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Michael Peters & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Competing Pre-marital Investments," Working Papers peters-00-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  4. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
  5. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  6. Brown, Judith C. & Goodman, Jordan, 1980. "Women and Industry in Florence," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(01), pages 73-80, March.
  7. Pierre-André Chiappori & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2001. "Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation and Household Labor Supply," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-16, CIRANO.
  8. Gillian Hamilton & Aloysius Siow, 2007. "Class, Gender and Marriage," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 549-575, October.
  9. Aloysius Siow & Xiaodong Zhu, 1998. "Differential Fecundity and Gender Biased Parental Investment," Working Papers siow-99-03, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Kahn, Shulamit & Lang, Kevin, 1988. "Efficient Estimation of Structural Hedonic Systems," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 157-66, February.
  11. Bartik, Timothy J, 1987. "The Estimation of Demand Parameters in Hedonic Price Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 81-88, February.
  12. Siwan Anderson, 2003. "Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 269-310, April.
  13. Botticini, Maristella, 1999. "A Loveless Economy? Intergenerational Altruism and the Marriage Market in a Tuscan Town, 1415–1436," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(01), pages 104-121, March.
  14. Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Bernheim, B. Douglas, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Scholarly Articles 3721794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  16. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 1999. "Why Dowries?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 95, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  17. Edlund, Lena, 1997. "Dowry Inflation: A Comment," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 193, Stockholm School of Economics.
  18. Brandt, Loren & Hosios, Arthur J, 1996. "Credit, Incentives, and Reputation: A Hedonic Analysis of Contractual Wage Profiles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1172-1226, December.
  19. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 1999. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Papers 0096, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  20. Luporini, Annalisa & Parigi, Bruno, 1996. "Multi-Task Sharecropping Contracts: The Italian Mezzadria," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(251), pages 445-57, August.
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