DP16659 Terms of Engagement: Migration, Dowry, and Love in Indian Marriages

Author(s): Andrew Beauchamp, Rossella Calvi, Scott Fulford
Publication Date: October 2021
Date Revised: January 2022
Keyword(s): Arranged marriage, Child Marriage, directed search, dowry, India, Marriage, Matching, migration
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16659

The Indian marriage market is characterized by extensive female migration, sizable dowries, and the widespread practice of arranged marriage. We develop and estimate a dynamic, general equilibrium, two-sided matching model with non-transferable utility to recover women's and men's preferences over spousal characteristics (such as age and education) and features of their marriage (including migration upon marriage, dowry payments, and women's involvement in the choice of their spouse). In counterfactual simulations, we study how changes in sex-ratios, women's education, and the practice of dowry, arranged marriage, and child marriage affect the equilibrium match and welfare in the marriage market.