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Arranged marriage, education and dowry: A Contract-theoretic perspective

  • Soumyanetra Munshi


    (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

This paper propounds a contract-theoretic model where dowry acts as a screening device to differentiate grooms of varying qualities. In 'arranged' marriage settings that are characterized by incomplete information in the sense that the true quality of the groom remains unobservable to the bride, and in the presence of observable traits like education that are easier for the better quality groom to achieve, education-dowry contracts can potentially serve as a screening instrument. Moreover increasing dowry levels can be explained through increased educational attainments brought about by modernization and government policies. The paper also discusses historical and narrative evidences in support of its main hypotheses.

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Paper provided by Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India in its series Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers with number 2014-006.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2014-006
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