Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
202Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Honors Thesis 2010

Honors Thesis 2010

Ratings:

4.67

(3)
|Views: 5,217 |Likes:
Published by Riah Forbes
This paper will explore how the declining sex ratio in Haryana, a state in north India, has
affected the local marriage market. The ratio of the number of women to men has been falling
over time, due to the strong preference for sons and prevalence of sex-selective abortion in this
region. Studies show that lower sex ratios lead to higher female bargaining power, but I
empirically show that there has been no change in female bargaining power in the region
surveyed. I argue that the relative shortage of women causes a squeeze in the marriage market,
which has two potential consequences: (i) an increasing age difference between spouses and (ii)
an increased geographical spread of the marriage market. I test these hypotheses using primary
data collected from households in three districts in Haryana. I conclude that the declining sex
ratio has no effect on spousal age gap, but does increase the distance traveled by wives for
marriage. This could explain the unresponsiveness of female bargaining power to the sex ratio
change, since the marriage market is simply expanding geographically to compensate for the
shortage of women rather than by directly altering intra-household dynamics.
This paper will explore how the declining sex ratio in Haryana, a state in north India, has
affected the local marriage market. The ratio of the number of women to men has been falling
over time, due to the strong preference for sons and prevalence of sex-selective abortion in this
region. Studies show that lower sex ratios lead to higher female bargaining power, but I
empirically show that there has been no change in female bargaining power in the region
surveyed. I argue that the relative shortage of women causes a squeeze in the marriage market,
which has two potential consequences: (i) an increasing age difference between spouses and (ii)
an increased geographical spread of the marriage market. I test these hypotheses using primary
data collected from households in three districts in Haryana. I conclude that the declining sex
ratio has no effect on spousal age gap, but does increase the distance traveled by wives for
marriage. This could explain the unresponsiveness of female bargaining power to the sex ratio
change, since the marriage market is simply expanding geographically to compensate for the
shortage of women rather than by directly altering intra-household dynamics.

More info:

Published by: Riah Forbes on May 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/17/2013

pdf

text

original

 
 THE EFFECT OF SKEWED SEX RATIOS ONMARRIAGE MARKETS IN INDIA
May 10, 2010Riah ForbesEconomicsStanford UniversityStanford, CA 94305riah@stanford.eduunder the direction of Prof. Anjini Kochar 
ABSTRACT
 This paper will explore how the declining sex ratio in Haryana, a state in north India, hasaffected the local marriage market. The ratio of the number of women to men has been fallingover time, due to the strong preference for sons and prevalence of sex-selective abortion in thisregion. Studies show that lower sex ratios lead to higher female bargaining power, but Iempirically show that there has been no change in female bargaining power in the regionsurveyed. I argue that the relative shortage of women causes a squeeze in the marriage market,which has two potential consequences: (i) an increasing age difference between spouses and (ii)an increased geographical spread of the marriage market. I test these hypotheses using primarydata collected from households in three districts in Haryana. I conclude that the declining sexratio has no effect on spousal age gap, but does increase the distance traveled by wives for marriage. This could explain the unresponsiveness of female bargaining power to the sex ratiochange, since the marriage market is simply expanding geographically to compensate for theshortage of women rather than by directly altering intra-household dynamics.
 Keywords
: marriage market, Haryana, sex ratio, bargaining power, India, assortative matching
Acknowledgements
: I would like to thank my advisor Anjini Kochar for her invaluable advice, guidance and patience over this two-year project, the Rai Foundation for assisting us with logistics in the villages and GeoffreyRothwell for his advice about the Economics honors program. I would also like to thank Teresa Molina, Lorra de laPaz, Rebecca Schindel and Sze Suen for all their help, and Salone Kapur and Shruti Tibrewala for keeping me saneover the last few months. Finally, I would like to dedicate this study to the men, women and children I met in ruralHaryana, whose strength, perseverance and good humor continue to humble and inspire me.
 
 Riah ForbesHonors ThesisMay 10, 20102
Table of Contents
I. Introduction………………………………………………………………………3II. Literature Review………………………………………………………………..5III. Theoretical Framework……………………………………………………..…13IV. Study Setting & Data Collection……………………………………………...16V. Empirical Strategy……………………………………………………………..23VI. Results…………………………………………………………………...........27VII. Conclusion & Discussion…………………………………………………….32VIII. Appendix…………………………………………………………………….34IX. References & Data Sources…………………………………………………...36
 
 Riah ForbesHonors ThesisMay 10, 20103
I. Introduction
India has dramatically improved against multiple social and economic indicators over thelast few decades, but it has not been as successful at achieving gender equality. One significantmeasure of this inequality is the country’s sex ratio, defined as the number of girls per 1000 boysunder the age of 7. This number is typically skewed slightly in favor of boys, at about 950 girlsto 1000 boys, to compensate for the fact that women have a marginally higher life expectancy(Sen 2003). However, the sex ratio is far more skewed in India, at 927 girls per 1000 boys in2001 (Census of India).While this does not seem substantially different from the normal rate, Sen points out thatthis statistic provides two reasons for concern. Firstly, the ratio has been worsening over time – itwas 945 women to 1000 men in 1991 – and may continue to become increasingly skewed.Secondly, there is a huge variation in sex ratios across states in India; states in the South havemuch more balanced sex ratios than their counterparts in the North, some of which have sexratios as low as 793 girls per 1000 boys. (see map in Appendix)It is commonly believed that once the sex ratio gets particularly imbalanced, the bargaining power of the scarcer sex rises. One reason for this is that a skewed sex ratio changesthe dynamics of the marriage market by altering women’s outside options (Lafortune 2008).Also, when there are fewer women, women are more likely to marry into a higher socioeconomicclass than their own (Abramitzky 2008). An increase in female bargaining power typicallymanifests itself through certain post-marital outcomes like better health and education for children, particularly daughters.

Activity (202)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
Maam Prei liked this
Emmanuel Anthony liked this
jakir1982 liked this
Eunice Adjei liked this
KHAN_EROS liked this
johnnymack72 liked this
Gyandeep Jaiswal liked this
Jonas Lamsen liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->