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Far Above Rubies: The Association Between Bride Price and Extramarital Sexual Relations in Uganda

  • Bishai, David


    (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Grossbard, Shoshana


    (San Diego State University)

The custom of bride price involves the payment of goods or cash from the groom’s family to the bride’s family at the time of marriage. We present a theory that views bride price as a payment in hedonic markets for marital fidelity. Data from a household survey in Uganda are used to test the theoretical prediction that payment of bride price will be associated with fewer non-marital sexual relationships for women. The data show a robust association between bride price payment and lower rates of non-marital sexual relationships for women but not for men.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2982.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Far above rubies: Bride price and extramarital sexual relations in Uganda' in: Journal of Population Economics, 2010, 23 (4), 1177 - 1187
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2982
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  1. Laferrere, Anne, 2001. " Marriage Settlements," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(3), pages 485-504, September.
  2. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 1999. "Why Dowries?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 95, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  3. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
  4. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1985. "Children as Collective Goods and Divorce Settlements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 268-92, July.
  5. Junsen Zhang & William Chan, 1999. "Dowry and Wife's Welfare: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 786-808, August.
  6. Raj Arunachalam & Trevon D. Logan, 2006. "On the Heterogeneity of Dowry Motives," NBER Working Papers 12630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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