DP5474 Individual vs. Parental Consent in Marriage: Implications for Intra-Household Resource Allocation and Growth

Author(s): Lena Cecilia Edlund, Nils-Petter Lagerlöf
Publication Date: January 2006
Keyword(s): arranged marriage, endogenous growth, individual consent, love marriage, parental consent
JEL(s): J12, O17, O40
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5474

Marrying individuals' consent has been requirement for marriage in Europe since the Middle Ages - in most of the rest of the world parental consent reigned until at least until the 1950s. This paper investigates the role of consent in marriage for intra-household allocation of resources and growth. We argue that a shift from parental to individual consent moves resources in the same direction, favouring young men and young women over old men. If young adults have greater incentives to invest in child human capital than the old (who will be around fewer periods), this may impact on growth. We formulate a simple endogenous growth model capturing these aspects.