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An economic model of early marriage

Wahhaj, Zaki (2018) An economic model of early marriage. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 152 . pp. 147-176. ISSN 0167-2681. (doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2018.06.001) (KAR id:67187)

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To explain female adolescent marriage patterns around the world, we develop a marriage market

model with asymmetric information about prospective marriage partners, and a noisy signal about the

brideís quality during an engagement. In equilibrium, there is a negative relationship between the age and

perceived quality of women on the marriage market and, consistent with available evidence, older brides

make higher net marriage payments. The model also implies path dependence in the evolution of adolescent

marriage practices over time and persistent e§ects on marriage practices from transitory shocks.

Model simulations show interventions which increase the opportunity cost of early marriage attenuates

the association between bride quality and age, triggering a virtuous cycle of marriage postponement.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.06.001
Uncontrolled keywords: marriage market, gender, adolescent development, fertility, dowry
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Zaki Wahhaj
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2018 15:34 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2021 15:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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