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Pre-marital Confinement of Women: A Signaling and Matching Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Birendra Rai
  • Kunal Sengupta

Abstract

Parents in several cultures `discipline' their daughters to inculcate the supposedly feminine virtues and improve their prospects in the marriage market. This process invariably involves imposing restrictions on their behavior, movement, and social relations. We formalize the idea that pre-marital confinement of women can be understood as an equilibrium outcome of a game of asymmetric information between parents of girls and prospective suitors. The paper presents a parsimonious framework involving signaling followed by matching in a marriage market where transfers are possible. The framework encompasses the different theories proposed by social scientists and permits a discussion of how socio-economic factors like rules of descent, production technology, and wealth inequality affect the likelihood of observing a norm of pre-marital confinement.

Suggested Citation

  • Birendra Rai & Kunal Sengupta, 2012. "Pre-marital Confinement of Women: A Signaling and Matching Approach," Monash Economics Working Papers 32-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2012-32
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    File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2012/3212premartitalraisengupta.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. De Cao, Elisabetta & Lutz, Clemens, 2014. "Sensitive survey questions," Research Report 14017-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    2. repec:dgr:rugsom:14017-eef is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Signaling; Matching; Norms; FGM;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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