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Home Events Economic Development Seminar (EDS) Erica Field (Duke University). “A Signal to End Child Marriage: Theory & Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh”
Erica Field

Erica Field (Duke University). “A Signal to End Child Marriage: Theory & Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh”

Abstract: Child marriage remains common even where female schooling and employment opportunities have grown. We introduce a signaling model in which bride type is imperfectly observed but preferred types have lower returns to delaying marriage. We show that in this environment the market might pool on early marriage even when everyone would benefit from delay. In this setting, offering a small incentive can delay marriage of all treated types and untreated non-preferred types, while programs that act directly on norms can unintentionally encourage early marriage. We test these theoretical predictions by experimentally evaluating a financial incentive to delay marriage alongside a girls’ empowerment program designed to shift norms. As predicted, girls eligible for the incentive are 19% less likely to marry underage, as are nonpreferred type women ineligible for the incentive. Meanwhile, the empowerment program was successful in promoting more progressive gender norms but failed to decrease adolescent marriage and increased dowry payments.

EDS is open to graduate students and faculty engaged in economic development and research. To sign up for these seminars, please email [email protected].

Date

Sep 30 2021
Expired!

Time

4:00 am - 5:30 pm

Location

Virtual

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