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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
Published Online: 2010-7-18
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston