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

Listed author(s):
  • 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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File URL: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2014-006.pdf
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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
Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2014-006
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  3. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Why Dowries?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0200, Econometric Society.
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  7. Cohn, Elchanan & Kiker, B. F. & De Oliveira, M. Mendes, 1987. "Further evidence on the screening hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 289-294.
  8. Katz, Eliakim & Ziderman, Adrian, 1980. "On education, screening and human capital," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 81-88.
  9. Venkat Krishnan, 2008. "Impact of MBA Education on Students’ Values: Two Longitudinal Studies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(2), pages 233-246, December.
  10. Dalmia, Sonia, 2004. "A hedonic analysis of marriage transactions in India: estimating determinants of dowries and demand for groom characteristics in marriage," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 235-255, September.
  11. Layard, Richard & Psacharopoulos, George, 1974. "The Screening Hypothesis and the Returns to Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 985-998, Sept./Oct.
  12. Grubb, W. Norton, 1993. "Further tests of screening on education and observed ability," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 125-136, June.
  13. Francis Bloch & Vijayendra Rao, 2002. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument: A Case Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1029-1043, September.
  14. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
  15. Albrecht, James W., 1980. "A Procedure for Testing the Signalling Hypothesis," Working Paper Series 29, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  16. Dasgupta, Indraneel & Maitra, Pushkar & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2008. "‘Arranged’ Marriage, Co-Residence and Female Schooling: A Model with Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 3336, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Steven Salop, 1977. "The Noisy Monopolist: Imperfect Information, Price Dispersion and Price Discrimination," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 393-406.
  18. Michael Rothschild & Joseph Stiglitz, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 629-649.
  19. Riley, John G., 1975. "Competitive signalling," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 174-186, April.
  20. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Riley, John G, 1979. "Testing the Educational Screening Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 227-252, October.
  22. 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.
  23. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
  24. Arrow, Kenneth J., 1973. "Higher education as a filter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 193-216, July.
  25. Siwan Anderson, 2007. "The Economics of Dowry and Brideprice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 151-174, Fall.
  26. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
  27. Abdul Waheed, 2009. "Dowry among Indian Muslims," Indian Journal of Gender Studies, Centre for Women's Development Studies, vol. 16(1), pages 47-75, February.
  28. Psacharopoulos, George, 1979. "On the weak versus the strong version of the screening hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 181-185.
  29. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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