On the Timing of Marriage, Cattle and Weather Shocks
Bas van der Klaauw
Gijsbert van Lomwel
Economic Development and Cultural Change 60, 121-154 (2011).
In this paper, we focus on the timing of marriage of
women, whose marriages are associated with bride wealth payments.
These payments concern transfers from (the family of) the groom to
the bride's family. Unmarried daughters could, therefore, be
considered part of the asset portfolio of the household that, at times of need, can be cashed. We
investigate, both theoretically and empirically, to what extent the
timing of marriage of a daughter is affected by the economic
conditions of the household from which she originates. We
distinguish household specific wealth levels and two types of
shocks: correlated (weather) shocks and idiosyncratic (wealth)
shocks. We estimate a duration model using a unique panel survey of
Zimbabwean smallholder farmers. The estimation results support the
hypothesis that the timing of marriage is affected by household
characteristics; girls from households that experienced a negative
idiosyncratic (wealth) shock are more likely to marry.
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Last updated: September 7, 2011.