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Early Marriage, Social Networks and the Transmission of Norms

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  • Niaz Asadullah

    ()

  • Zaki Wahhaj

    ()

Abstract

We investigate whether female early marriage is a conduit for the transmission of social norms, specifically norms relating to gender roles and rights within the household. We exploit differences in the age of onset of menarche between sisters as an exogenous source of variation in marriage age. This approach allows us to control for beliefs and attitudes that are transmitted from parents to children. We find that early marriage increases agreement with statements supportive of gender bias in the allocation of resources and traditional gender roles. The woman's own schooling, her husband's schooling, and her social network together account for, at most, one-third of the estimated effect, suggesting that the major pathway for norm transmission is the experience of early marriage itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Niaz Asadullah & Zaki Wahhaj, 2016. "Early Marriage, Social Networks and the Transmission of Norms," Studies in Economics 1602, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:1602
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Amin, Sajeda & Asadullah, Niaz & Hossain, Sara & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2016. "Can Conditional Transfers Eradicate Child Marriage?," IZA Policy Papers 118, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Jorge GarcĂ­a Hombrados, 2017. "Child Marriage and Infant Mortality: Evidence from Ethiopia," Working Paper Series 1317, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender Roles; Social Norms; Schooling; Household Decision-Making;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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