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Watta satta : bride exchange and women's welfare in rural Pakistan

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  • Jacoby, Hanan G.
  • Mansuri, Ghazala

Abstract

In a setting where husbands wield considerable coercive power, forms of marriage should adapt to protect the interests of women and their families. The authors study the pervasive marriage custom of watta satta in rural Pakistan, a bride exchange between families coupled with a mutual threat of retaliation. They show that watta satta may be a mechanism to coordinate the actions of two sets of in-laws, each of whom wish to restrain their sons-in-law but who only have the ability to restrain their sons. The authors'empirical results support this view. The likelihood of marital inefficiency, as measured by estrangement, domestic abuse, and wife's mental health, is significantly lower in watta satta arrangements as compared with conventional marriages, but only after properly accounting for selection.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2007. "Watta satta : bride exchange and women's welfare in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4126, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4126
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sylvain Dessy & Setou Diarra & Roland Pongou, 2017. "Underage Brides and Grooms’ Education," Working Papers 1704E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    2. Do, Q-T & Iyer, S. & Joshi, S., 2006. "The Economics of Consanguinity," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0653, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Katrine Løken & Kjell Lommerud & Shelly Lundberg, 2013. "Your Place or Mine? On the Residence Choice of Young Couples in Norway," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 285-310, February.
    4. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2015. "Crossing boundaries: How social hierarchy impedes economic mobility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 135-154.
    5. Quy-Toan Do & Sriya Iyer & Shareen Joshi, 2013. "The Economics of Consanguineous Marriages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 904-918, July.
    6. Farre, Lidia, 2013. "The role of men in the economic and social development of women : implications for gender equality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6323, The World Bank.
    7. Anukriti, S & Dasgupta, Shatanjaya, 2017. "Marriage Markets in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 10556, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:kap:reveho:v:16:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11150-016-9340-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Giulia La Mattina, 2014. "Civil Conflict, Sex Ratio and Intimate Partner Violence in Rwanda," Working Papers 0114, University of South Florida, Department of Economics.
    10. La Mattina, Giulia, 2017. "Civil conflict, domestic violence and intra-household bargaining in post-genocide Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 168-198.
    11. Makino, Momoe, 2015. "Better than nothing? : dowry in the absence of the legal protection of women's inheritance rights," IDE Discussion Papers 537, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    12. Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke & Bram De Rock & Philip Verwimp, 2018. "The power of the family: kinship and intra-household decision making in rural Burundi," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 323-346, June.
    13. Makino, Momoe, 2015. "Marriage, dowry, and women's status in rural Punjab, Pakistan," IDE Discussion Papers 534, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    14. Ahmed Mobarak & Randall Kuhn & Christina Peters, 2013. "Consanguinity and Other Marriage Market Effects of a Wealth Shock in Bangladesh," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(5), pages 1845-1871, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population&Development; Anthropology; Education and Society; Gender and Law; Gender and Law;

    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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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