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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Jeanne Lafortune

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May 2009Marry for What: Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India
with Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Maitreesh Ghatak: w14958
This paper studies the role played by caste, education and other social and economic attributes in arranged marriages among middle-class Indians. We use a unique data set on individuals who placed matrimonial advertisements in a major newspaper, the responses they received, how they ranked them, and the eventual matches. We estimate the preferences for caste, education, beauty, and other attributes. We then compute a set of stable matches, which we compare to the actual matches that we observe in the data. We find the stable matches to be quite similar to the actual matches, suggesting a relatively frictionless marriage market. One of our key empirical findings is that there is a very strong preference for within-caste marriage. However, because both sides of the market share this preferen...

Published: Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 33-72, May. citation courtesy of

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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