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Early marriage, social networks and the transmission of norms

Asadullah, M. Niaz and Wahhaj, Zaki (2017) Early marriage, social networks and the transmission of norms. Working paper. University of Manchester Global Development Institute, Manchester, UK (KAR id:63926)


We investigate whether female early marriage is a conduit for the transmission of social norms, specifically norms relating to gender roles and rights within the household. We exploit differences in the age at menarche between sisters as an exogenous source of variation in marriage age. This approach allows us to control for beliefs and attitudes that are transmitted from parents to children. Using a sample of unmarried adolescents in Bangladesh, we first show that the timing of onset of menstruation has no direct effect on adolescent attitudes on attitudes towards gender norms. Yet we find that early marriage increases agreement with statements supportive of gender bias in the allocation of resources, and worsens the quality of a woman’s post-marital social network. We also find evidence suggesting that schooling is a complement and the quality of the social network a substitute of later marriage in terms of their effects on attitudes towards traditional gender norms.

Item Type: Reports and Papers (Working paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: gender roles, social norms, schooling, household decision-making
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ767.9 Children. Child developement
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Zaki Wahhaj
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2017 10:53 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 04:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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