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Conference Paper: Marital transfers and the welfare of women

TitleMarital transfers and the welfare of women
Authors
Issue Date2012
Citation
Seminar of the Department of Economics, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, 23 March 2012. How to Cite?
AbstractThroughout history, marriage has often been accompanied by substantial exchange of wealth. The practice of dowry-giving, in particular, has shown considerable diversity across cultures and over time. In my earlier works, I suggested that dowry can be considered a pre-mortem bequest by a woman's parents to her at the time of her wedding, which can help establish her position and safeguard her welfare in the new conjugal household. This hypothesis is, however, not consistent with the dominant view in the Asian subcontinent, where inflating dowry is now considered a social evil responsible for the plights and even deaths of many women. Despite these apparently polar opposite views of dowry, some recent studies have suggested that dowry, as practiced in India today, is not a homogeneous transfer, but is instead a combination of different transactions serving different functions. In this paper, I use a survey data set from India to decompose the transfer into various components, and identify their effects on the status of the wife within the household. It is found that a larger transfer from the bride’s parents to the bride will indeed enhance her decision-making role, while a larger transfer to the groom’s family has no effect. This suggests an outright ban on dowry may not necessarily serve the interest of women in India.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/169140

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, W-
dc.date.accessioned2012-10-09T00:51:41Z-
dc.date.available2012-10-09T00:51:41Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationSeminar of the Department of Economics, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, 23 March 2012.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/169140-
dc.description.abstractThroughout history, marriage has often been accompanied by substantial exchange of wealth. The practice of dowry-giving, in particular, has shown considerable diversity across cultures and over time. In my earlier works, I suggested that dowry can be considered a pre-mortem bequest by a woman's parents to her at the time of her wedding, which can help establish her position and safeguard her welfare in the new conjugal household. This hypothesis is, however, not consistent with the dominant view in the Asian subcontinent, where inflating dowry is now considered a social evil responsible for the plights and even deaths of many women. Despite these apparently polar opposite views of dowry, some recent studies have suggested that dowry, as practiced in India today, is not a homogeneous transfer, but is instead a combination of different transactions serving different functions. In this paper, I use a survey data set from India to decompose the transfer into various components, and identify their effects on the status of the wife within the household. It is found that a larger transfer from the bride’s parents to the bride will indeed enhance her decision-making role, while a larger transfer to the groom’s family has no effect. This suggests an outright ban on dowry may not necessarily serve the interest of women in India.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofDepartment of Economics, Lingnan University-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleMarital transfers and the welfare of womenen_US
dc.typeConference_Paperen_US
dc.identifier.emailChan, W: wchana@hku.hk-
dc.description.naturepostprint-
dc.identifier.hkuros209237-
dc.publisher.placeHong Kong-
dc.description.otherSeminar of the Department of Economics, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, 23 March 2012.-

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