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Marry for what?: caste and mate selection in modern India

Banerjee, Abhijit, Duflo, Esther, Ghatak, Maitreesh and Lafortune, Jeanne (2013) Marry for what?: caste and mate selection in modern India. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 5 (2). pp. 33-72. ISSN 1945-7669

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Abstract

This paper analyzes how preferences for a noneconomic characteristic (e.g., caste) can affect equilibrium patterns of matching, and empirically evaluates this in the context of middle-class Indian arranged marriages. We show theoretically how the equilibrium consequences of caste depend on whether preferences are towards one's own group or for "marrying up." We then estimate actual preferences for caste and other attributes using a unique dataset of individuals who placed matrimonial advertisements and find only a strong preference for in-caste marriage. This translates, in equilibrium, in caste doing little to alter the matching patterns on non-caste attributes

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej-micro/index.php
Additional Information: © 2013 American Economic Association
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D10 - General
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J12 - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O12 - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Sets: Departments > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2013 14:03
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/46805/

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