Terror as a bargaining instrument : a case study of dowry violence in rural India
The authors examine how domestic violence may be used as a bargaining instrument, to extract larger dowries from a spouse's family. The phrase"dowry violence"refers not to the paid at the time of the wedding, but to additional payments demanded by the groom's family after the marriage. The additional dowry is often paid to stop the husband from systematically beating the wife. The authors base their case study of three villages in southern India on qualitative and survey data. Based on the ethnographic evidence, they develop a noncooperative bargaining and signaling model of dowries and domestic violence. They test the predictions from those models on survey data. They find that women whose families pay smaller dowries suffer increased risk of marital violence. So do women who come from richer families (from whom resources can more easily be extracted). Larger dowries - as well as greater satisfaction with the marriage (in the form of more male children) - reduce the probability of violence. In India marriage is almost never a matter of choice for women, but is driven almost entirely by social norms, and parental preferences. Providing opportunities for women outside of marriage and the marriage market would significantly improve their well-being by allowing them to leave an abusive husband, or find a way of"bribing"him to stop the abuse, or present a credible threat, which has the same effect.
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- 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.
- Vijayendra Rao, "undated". "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-6, Chicago - Population Research Center.
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- Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
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- Helen V. Tauchen & Ann Dryden Witte & Sharon K. Long, 1985. "Domestic Violence: A Non-random Affair," NBER Working Papers 1665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert A. Pollak, 2004. "An intergenerational model of domestic violence," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(2), pages 311-329, 06.
- Robert A. Pollak, 2002. "An Intergenerational Model of Domestic Violence," NBER Working Papers 9099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
- Farmer, Amy & Tiefenthaler, Jill, 1996. "Domestic Violence: The Value of Services as Signals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 274-279, May.
- Rao, V., 1991. "A hedonic Analysis of Dowry in Rural India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-6, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Tauchen, Helen V & Witte, Ann Dryden & Long, Sharon K, 1991. "Domestic Violence: A Nonrandom Affair," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(2), pages 491-511, May.
- McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-349, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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