NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Natalie Bau

Department of Economics
University of Toronto
150 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 3A3

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2016Bride Price and Female Education
with Nava Ashraf, Nathan Nunn, Alessandra Voena: w22417
Although it is well known that traditional cultural practices can play an important role in development, we still have little understanding of what this means for development policy. To improve our understanding of this issue, we examine how the effects of school construction on girls’ education vary with a widely-practiced marriage custom called bride price, which is a payment made by the husband and/or his family to the wife’s parents at marriage. We begin by developing a model of educational choice with and without bride price. The model generates a number of predictions that we test in two countries that have had large-scale school construction projects, Indonesia and Zambia. Consistent with the model, we find that for groups that practice the custom of bride price, the value of bride ...
 
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