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Tradition and change in marriage payments in Vietnam, 1963-2000

Publication Abstract

Teerawichitchainan, Bussarawan, and John E. Knodel. 2012. "Tradition and change in marriage payments in Vietnam, 1963-2000." Asian Population Studies, 8(2): 151-172.

This study analyses data from the Vietnam Study of Family Change to document trends and determinants of marriage payments in Vietnam from 1963 to 2000. We investigate the extent to which structural and policy transformations influenced the practice of payments, and estimate how societal changes indirectly impacted payments via their effects on population characteristics. Results indicate that marriage payments surged following market reform, but also reveal nuanced trends during earlier years. While the socialist attempts to eradicate brideprice appear to have been successful in the North before economic renovation, they were unsuccessful in the South. Structural and policy change explained most of the observed variations in payments. The changing characteristics of the married individuals mattered relatively less. We interpret the re-emergence of marriage payments as attesting to the resilience of traditional values and the unravelling of the socialist agenda, but also as a reflection of Vietnam's economic prosperity in the 1990s.

DOI:10.1080/17441730.2012.675677 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3702189. (Pub Med Central)

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