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'Arranged' Marriage, Co-Residence and Female Schooling: a Model with Evidence from India

  • Indraneel Dasgupta,
  • Pushkar Maitra,
  • Diganta Mukherjee

We model the consequences of parental control over choice of wives for sons, for parental incentives to educate daughters, when the marriage market exhibits competitive dowry payments and altruistic but paternalistic parents benefit from having married sons live with them. By choosing uneducated brides, some parents can prevent costly household partition. Paternalistic self-interest consequently generates low levels of female schooling in the steady state equilibrium. State payments to parents for educating daughters fail toraise female schooling levels. Policies (such as housing subsidies) that promote nuclear families, interventions against early marriages, and state support to couples who marry against parental wishes, are however all likely to improve female schooling. We offer evidence from India consistent with our theoretical analysis.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, CREDIT in its series Discussion Papers with number 06/03.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notcre:06/03
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  1. Anderson, Siwan, 2007. "Why the marriage squeeze cannot cause dowry inflation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 140-152, November.
  2. Frederic Gaspart & Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2010. "Strategic Behavior and Marriage Payments: Theory and Evidence from Senegal," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(1), pages 149-185, October.
  3. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 1999. "Why Dowries?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 95, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  4. Konrad, Kai A. & Künemund, Harald & Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Robledo, Julio R., 2001. "Geography of the family
    [Die Geographie der Familie]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance FS IV 01-16, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Lena Edlund, 2000. "The Marriage Squeeze Interpretation of Dowry Inflation: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1327-1333, December.
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