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Household Savings and Marriage Payments: Evidence from Dowry in India

S Anukriti (), Sungoh Kwon and Nishith Prakash ()
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Sungoh Kwon: University of Connecticut

No 2018-09, Working papers from University of Connecticut, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper examines how traditional marriage market institutions a˙ect households’ financial decisions. We study how bride-to-groom marriage payments, i.e., dowries, influence saving behavior in rural India. Exploiting variation in firstborn gender and heterogeneity in dowry amounts across marriage markets, we find that the prospect of paying higher dowry increases household savings, which are primarily financed through increased paternal labor supply. This is the first paper that highlights this alternative motive for savings in dowry-paying societies. However, we find no impacts of dowry expectations on son-preferring fertility behaviors and investments in girls.

Keywords: Household Savings; Dowry; Marriage Payments; India; Labor Supply; Fertility; Sex Ratio; Child Investments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J1 D14 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-gen and nep-knm
Date: 2018-04
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Working Paper: Household Savings and Marriage Payments: Evidence from Dowry in India (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Household Savings and Marriage Payments: Evidence from Dowry in India (2018) Downloads
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