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

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  • Soumyanetra Munshi

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Soumyanetra Munshi, 2014. "Arranged marriage, education and dowry: A Contract-theoretic perspective," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-006, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2014-006
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    'Arranged' marriage; 'arranged' marriage and dowry; dowry inflation; dowry and education; dowry as a screening device; dowry as a signal of the quality of the groom;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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