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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.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 193.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 22 Sep 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0193
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  1. 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.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, August.
  3. 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.
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