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Bride price and the well-being of women

Author

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  • Sara Lowes
  • Nathan Nunn

Abstract

Bride price, which is payment from the groom and/or the groom's family to the bride's family at the time of marriage, is a common cultural practice in many African societies. It is often argued that the practice may have negative effects for girls and women because it may: incentivize early marriage and lead to higher fertility; promote the view that husbands have 'purchased' their wives, resulting is worse treatment of wives; and trap women in unhappy marriages due to the common requirement that some of the bride price be paid back upon divorce.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Lowes & Nathan Nunn, 2017. "Bride price and the well-being of women," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-131, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2017-131
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    File URL: https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/Publications/Working-paper/PDF/wp2017-131.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nava Ashraf & Natalie Bau & Nathan Nunn & Alessandra Voena, 2020. "Bride Price and Female Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(2), pages 591-641.
    2. Alessandra Voena & Lucia Corno, 2015. "Selling daughters: age at marriage, income shocks and bride price tradition," 2015 Meeting Papers 1089, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Linguère Mously Mbaye & Natascha Wagner, 2017. "Bride Price and Fertility Decisions: Evidence from Rural Senegal," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(6), pages 891-910, June.
    4. Lucia Corno & Nicole Hildebrandt & Alessandra Voena, 2016. "Weather Shocks, Age of Marriage and the Direction of Marriage Payments," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def040, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    5. Platteau, Jean-Philippe & Gaspart, Frederic, 2007. "The Perverse Effects of High Brideprices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1221-1236, July.
    6. David Bishai & Shoshana Grossbard, 2010. "Far above rubies: Bride price and extramarital sexual relations in Uganda," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1177-1187, September.
    7. Siwan Anderson, 2007. "The Economics of Dowry and Brideprice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 151-174, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhalotra, Sonia & Chakravarty, Abhishek & Gulesci, Selim, 2020. "The price of gold: Dowry and death in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    2. Rozenn Hotte & Sylvie Lambert, 2020. "Marriage Payments and Wife's Welfare: All you need is love," Working Papers halshs-02611667, HAL.
    3. Nathan Nunn, 2019. "Rethinking economic development," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1349-1373, November.
    4. Brodeur, Abel & Mabeu, Marie Christelle & Pongou, Roland, 2020. "Ancestral Norms, Legal Origins, and Female Empowerment," IZA Discussion Papers 13105, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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