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Your Conscience You Must Keep, or it Must be Kept for You


  • Birendra K. Rai

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics)


Parents in several cultures 'discipline' their daughters to inculcate the supposedly feminine virtues. The measures taken by parents range from the benign to the brutal across societies. The paper formalizes the idea that this process can be understood as an equilibrium outcome of a signaling game between parents of girls and prospective suitors. We identify the conditions that make a society-wide norm feasible, and those that determine the extent of restrictions faced by girls in equilibrium. The predictions of the model can help understand the persistence of extreme practices like foot-binding and genital mutilation of young girls.

Suggested Citation

  • Birendra K. Rai, 2007. "Your Conscience You Must Keep, or it Must be Kept for You," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-083, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-083

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wagner Joachim & Schank Thorsten & Schnabel Claus & Addison John T., 2006. "Works Councils, Labor Productivity and Plant Heterogeneity: First Evidence from Quantile Regressions," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 226(5), pages 505-518, October.
    2. Wagner, Joachim, 2006. "International Firm Activities and Innovation: Evidence from Knowledge Production Functions for German Firms," HWWA Discussion Papers 344, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
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    More about this item


    Marriage; Signaling; Virginity;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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