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Dowry Inflation: A Comment


  • Edlund, Lena

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)


In a recent paper Rao (1993) proposed that scarcity of men (marriage squeeze) could drive rising dowries in India. This paper shows, using the same data, that his marriage squeeze variable fails to be significant in replication of the dowry function as well as in alternative specifications. Moreover, the evidence in favor of an inflation interpretation to dowry increases is weak. Instead, data suggest that the rise in dowries might have resulted from an increase in wealth, an interpretation which challenges the notion of rising dowries as a determinant of gender bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Edlund, Lena, 1997. "Dowry Inflation: A Comment," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 193, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0193

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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 666-677, August.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, January.
    3. Deolalikar, A.B. & Rao, V., 1990. "The Demand For Bride Characteristics And Dowry In Mariage: Empirical Estimates For Rural South India," Working Papers 90-22, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2003. "Why Dowries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1385-1398, September.
    2. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-157, July.

    More about this item


    Dowry inflation; marriage squeeze;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure


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