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Bride Price and Female Education

Nava Ashraf, Natalie Bau, Nathan Nunn () and Alessandra Voena

Journal of Political Economy, 2020, vol. 128, issue 2, 591 - 641

Abstract: We document an important consequence of bride price, a payment made by the groom to the bride’s family at marriage. Revisiting Indonesia’s school construction program, we find that among ethnic groups without the custom, it had no effect on girls’ schooling. Among ethnic groups with the custom, it had large positive effects. We show (theoretically and empirically) that this is because a daughter’s education, by increasing the amount of money parents receive at marriage, generates an additional incentive for parents to educate their daughters. We replicate these findings in Zambia, a country that had a similar large-scale school construction program.

Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Bride Price and Female Education (2018) Downloads
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