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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Friebel, Guido / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Tsui, Kevin / Wichardt, Philipp / Zulehner, Christine

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The Economics of Female Genital Cutting

Tatyana Chesnokova1 / Rhema Vaithianathan2

1University of Adelaide,

2University of Auckland,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 10, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.2565, July 2010

Publication History

Published Online:
2010-07-18

Abstract

The practice of female genital cutting (FGC) has a long history in Africa and it is thought that over 130 million females alive today have undergone the practice. In this paper, we model FGC as a pre-marital investment. We show how the rat-race nature of the marriage market may result in inefficiently high equilibrium levels of FGC. We argue that in this case, regulation results in a (potential) Pareto improvement and that even weak regulation can be effective in eradicating FGC.

Keywords: female genital cutting; marriage; pre-marital investment; Africa

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