'Arranged' Marriage, Dowry and Female Literacy in a Transitional Society

CREDIT Research Paper No. 03/12

41 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2003

See all articles by Indraneel Dasgupta

Indraneel Dasgupta

Durham University - Department of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Diganta Mukherjee

Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi - Economic Research Unit

Date Written: August 2003

Abstract

We examine the consequences of parental control over choice of wives for sons, for parental incentives to educate daughters, in a dualistic transitional economy, where preferences conflict across generations and the marriage market exhibits competitive dowry payments. Parental control generates persistence of low levels of female literacy, despite economic growth. In steady state equilibrium, the female literacy rate is uniquely determined by the magnitude of male employment in the high wage sector. Income gains for men or women, larger returns to female literacy, lower returns from child labour and tax-subsidy interventions all fail to raise female literacy. Universal female literacy would result, despite dowry, if grooms themselves chose their brides.

Keywords: Arranged Marriage, Dowry, Female literacy, Marriage markets, Stable marriage allocation, Child labour

JEL Classification: D10, D91, J12, J16

Suggested Citation

Dasgupta, Indraneel and Mukherjee, Diganta, 'Arranged' Marriage, Dowry and Female Literacy in a Transitional Society (August 2003). CREDIT Research Paper No. 03/12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=463580 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.463580

Indraneel Dasgupta (Contact Author)

Durham University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Durham, DH1 3HY
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Diganta Mukherjee

Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi - Economic Research Unit ( email )

203 B. T. Road
Calcutta, 700 035
India

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