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Marriage Research November 11, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in contemplation, life.

Tyler links to Divya Mathur’s research on arranged marriages in India.

 …when parents are involved in mate choice, sons are significantly less likely to marry college-educated women and women engaged in the labor force, after controlling for individual and family characteristics. I show that these effects are driven, at least in part, by parental preferences and cannot entirely be attributed to correlation between arranged marriages and unobserved characteristics.

Comments section of the above post is worth a read as well.

Why do parents have a say in any of this ? They should probably have a say if :

a) You are too young to know enough – but if you are old enough to marry, you are old enough to know whom to marry.

b) You want them to have a say (for whatever reasons)

c) The prospective spouses’ parents want your parents to approve of the alliance. Dubious at best, but believe me it happens. In-laws who demonstrate such preferences are unlikely to stop at that.

How can be make the already most complicated matching problem even more so but adding variables like the above ? I can’t think like a parent of a 20 something year old. (actually I can’t think like a parent at all). Its interesting if there is a website (like the PostSecret blog) where parents anonymously what actually prompted them to choose a particular bride/groom for their child and of course, the “just married” ones anonymously post about why they actually rejected all the proposals that came in and finally accepted the one they did. 

My own nonsensical wishes apart, a systematic study of the topic was long overdue – even more creditable if that thesis is coming out of a prominent economics department and is being supervised by the likes of Gary Becker and Emily Oster.



1. Vishnu - November 11, 2007

The frequency of mention of posts on marriage are on the rise on your blog page…:) 😉

2. Sharath Rao - November 11, 2007

Uuh…really ? 😮

The evidence does not seem to support the hypothesis –

But perception is as important as reality and I am curious to know the basis of this perception 🙂

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