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Why the Marriage Squeeze Cannot Cause Dowry Inflation

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  • Anderson, K.S.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

Abstract

It has been argued that rising dowry payments are caused by population growth.According to that explanation, termed the `marriage squeeze', a population increase leads to an excess supply of brides since men marry younger women.As a result, dowry payments rise in order to clear the marriage market.The explanation is essentially static; unmarried brides do not re-enter the marriage market.This paper demonstrates that the marriage squeeze argument cannot explain dowry inflation in a proper dynamic framework.In fact, when women, who do not find matches at the `desirable' marrying age, re-enter the marriage market as older brides, (as is the case in areas undergoing dowry inflation), the marriage squeeze argument is shown to imply dowry deflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, K.S., 2000. "Why the Marriage Squeeze Cannot Cause Dowry Inflation," Discussion Paper 2000-86, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:508dfa3d-a1b0-4bd3-a0d7-44505b60b80a
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    File URL: https://pure.uvt.nl/ws/portalfiles/portal/536758/86.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 666-677, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Robert Schoen, 1983. "Measuring the tightness of a marriage squeeze," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 20(1), pages 61-78, February.
    4. Bergstrom, T. & Lam, D., 1991. "The Two-Sex Problem and the Marriage Squeeze in an Equilibrium Model of Mariage Market," Papers 91-7, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    5. Donald Akers, 1967. "On Measuring the Marriage Squeeze," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 4(2), pages 907-924, June.
    6. Nizam Khan & Andrew D. Foster, 1994. "Equilibrating the Marriage Market in a Rapidly Growing Population: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh," Home Pages _080, University of Pennsylvania.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Keywords

    population dynamics; marriage; costs;

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