EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India

Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Maitreesh Ghatak () and Jeanne Lafortune

No 7300, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: This paper studies the role played by caste, education and other social and economic attributes in arranged marriages among middle-class Indians. We use a unique data set on individuals who placed matrimonial advertisements in a major newspaper, the responses they received, how they ranked them, and the eventual matches. We estimate the preferences for caste, education, beauty, and other attributes. We then compute a set of stable matches, which we compare to the actual matches that we observe in the data. We find the stable matches to be quite similar to the actual matches, suggesting a relatively frictionless marriage market. One of our key empirical findings is that there is a very strong preference for within-caste marriage. However, because both sides of the market share this preference and because the groups are fairly homogeneous in terms of the distribution of other attributes, in equilibrium, the cost of wanting to marry within-caste is low. This allows caste to remain a persistent feature of the Indian marriage market.

Keywords: caste; Gale-Shapley Algorithm; marriage markets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D10 J12 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-dev, nep-hap and nep-ltv
Date: 2009-05
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7300 (application/pdf)
CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

Related works:
Journal Article: Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Marry for What: Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India (2009) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7300

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.cepr.org/ ... ers/dp.php?dpno=7300

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers Centre for Economic Policy Research, 33 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DX.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-10-15
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7300