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Marriage and Assortative Matching in Rural Ethiopia

  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Agnes Quisumbing

This paper examines the determinants of human and physical capital at marriage. Using detailed data from rural Ethiopia, we find ample evidence of assortative matching at marriage. Assets brought to marriage are distributed in a highly unequal manner. Sorting operates at a variety of levels – wealth, schooling, and work experience – that cannot be summarized into a single additive index. For first unions, assets brought to marriage are positively associated with parents’ wealth, indicating that a bequest motive affects assets at marriage. Unlike most brides, grooms appear to accumulate individual assets over time and over marriages. The marriage market is a major conduit for rural and gender inequality.

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File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/2002-21text.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2002-21.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2002-21
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  1. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Bulletins 7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  2. Rao, Vijayendra, 1993. "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 666-77, August.
  3. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes Quisumbing, 2002. "Assets at Marriage in Rural Ethiopia," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2002-22, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Webb, Patrick & von Braun, Joachim & Yohannes, Yisehac, 1992. "Famine in Ethiopia: policy implications of coping failure at national and household levels," Research reports 92, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes Quisumbing, 2000. "Control and ownership of assets within rural Ethiopian households," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-27, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Yang, Dennis, 1995. "Education and Off-Farm Work," Working Papers 95-09, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  7. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
  8. Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992. "Two-sided matching," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541 Elsevier.
  9. Ted Bergstrom, 1995. "A Survey of Theories of the Family," Papers _027, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  10. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & DEC, 1994. "Intrahousehold resource allocation : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1255, The World Bank.
  11. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Maluccio, John A., 2000. "Intrahousehold allocation and gender relations," FCND briefs 84, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
  13. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & de la Briere, Benedicte, 2000. "Women's assets and intrahousehold allocation in rural Bangladesh," FCND discussion papers 86, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  14. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing, 1999. "Human Capital, Productivity, and Labor Allocation in Rural Pakistan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 369-406.
  15. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1994. "Intergenerational transfers in Philippine rice villages : Gender differences in traditional inheritance customs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 167-195, April.
  16. Boulier, Bryan L & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1984. "Schooling, Search, and Spouse Selection: Testing Economic Theories of Marriage and Household Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(4), pages 712-32, August.
  17. Jacoby, Hanan G, 1995. "The Economics of Polygyny in Sub-Saharan Africa: Female Productivity and the Demand for Wives in Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 938-71, October.
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