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2014 PAA Annual Meeting, May 1-3, Boston

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Monday, April 21
Grant Miller: Managerial Incentives in Public Service Delivery

The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Rao, Vijayendra. "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India." Journal of Political Economy, 101, no.4 (1993): 666-77.

Dowries in South Asia have steadily risen over the last 40 years and now often amount to over 50 percent of a household's assets. This paper attempts to investigate the reasons behind this increase. It adapts Rosen's implicit market model to the Indian marriage market and tests predictions from the model with data from six villages in South Central India and from the Indian census. It is found that a "marriage squeeze" caused by population growth, resulting in larger younger cohorts and hence a surplus of women in the marriage market, has played a significant role in the rise in dowries.

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