Can't Buy Me Love? A Field Experiment Exploring the Trade‐Off between Income and Caste‐Status in an Indian Matrimonial Market

17 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2012

See all articles by Subhasish Dugar

Subhasish Dugar

University of Calgary

Haimanti Bhattacharya

University of Utah

David Reiley

Pandora Media, Inc.; UC Berkeley School of Information

Date Written: April 2012

Abstract

A large body of literature depicts that status‐based discrimination is pervasive, but is silent on how economic incentive interacts with such discrimination. This study addresses this question by designing a field experiment in a reputable arranged marriage market that is prone to strong caste‐status‐based discrimination. We place newspaper advertisements of potential grooms by systematically varying their caste and income and focus on responses of higher‐caste females to lower‐caste males. The substantive finding is that despite the evidence of discrimination, discriminatory behavior of higher‐status females decreases with an increase in the advertised monthly income of lower‐status males.

JEL Classification: C93, J12, J15

Suggested Citation

Dugar, Subhasish and Bhattacharya, Haimanti and Reiley, David H., Can't Buy Me Love? A Field Experiment Exploring the Trade‐Off between Income and Caste‐Status in an Indian Matrimonial Market (April 2012). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 50, Issue 2, pp. 534-550, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2042379 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00398.x

Subhasish Dugar (Contact Author)

University of Calgary ( email )

2500 University Drive, NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Haimanti Bhattacharya

University of Utah ( email )

Department of Economics
1645 E Campus Center Drive, #308
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.utah.edu/~bhattacharya

David H. Reiley

Pandora Media, Inc. ( email )

2101 WEBSTER ST 16TH FLOOR
Oakland, CA 94612
United States

UC Berkeley School of Information ( email )

102 South Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-4600
United States

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