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The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics

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Population dynamics and marriage payments: an analysis of the long run equilibrium in India

Sudeshna Maitra
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  • Economics Department, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada, Phone: (+1) 416-258-9074
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Published Online: 2018-03-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejm-2017-0191


Why do scarce Indian women pay dowry to secure grooms even as the sex-ratio of offspring is manipulated by parents? We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model of demographic and marriage market outcomes with endogenous gender preference. We find, that under a calibration of parameters suggested by Indian marriage market indicators, any long run steady state equilibrium must have both dowry and a masculine sex ratio. The key assumption that generates this result is the asymmetric marital preferences of men and women regarding own and spouse’s ideal age at marriage.

Keywords: dowry; dynamic general equilibrium model; marriage squeeze; steady state


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-03-03

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, Volume 18, Issue 2, 20170191, ISSN (Online) 1935-1690, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejm-2017-0191.

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