India markets in everything

by on June 30, 2012 at 1:28 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

Premarital investigations cost $200 to $400 and take seven to 10 days. Detectives follow the subject for 12 to 18 hours daily and chat up co-workers, domestic help and tradesmen under various pretexts. “Beware — your neighbor knows everything,” says Sanjay Singh, chief executive of New Delhi’s Indian Detective Agency. “Sometimes more than you know yourself.”

Particularly useful are fake marketing surveys. Enticed into participating with the promise of a free gift, sometimes something as modest as a bottle of shampoo, the subject or a neighbor may reveal a secret relationship or details of a would-be bride or groom’s late-night entertainment activities and smoking or drinking habits.

“People love freebies,” says Krishna Kumar, an Anapol Institute graduate. “Most fall for it hook, line and sinker.”

She worked at a computer company for four years before deciding detective work would be a lot more challenging. Women have a big advantage as sleuths because they’re non-threatening, can mingle better and are more intuitive, she says.

“I like doing premarital investigations best,” she says. “You’re watching someone go in a new direction, and your work could make or break their future.”

…Most premarital investigations are ordered by parents, although sometimes spouses-to-be want a little snooping done, including women keen to size up their prospective mothers-in-law in a society where it is common for couples to live with the husband’s extended family.

The story is here, and for the pointer I thank Vishal Ganesan.  Oh, and the results?:

According to detectives, investigations turn up significant problems in about 60% of cases. In about 10%, the discoveries are explosive enough — such as previously undisclosed marriages or serious hereditary diseases — to cause cancellation of the wedding.

For the caste-conscious, a hidden Dalit relative, or so-called untouchable, is also problematic. “Caste and dowries remain huge issues today, and people like to exaggerate,” says Sachit Kumar, director of Globe Detective Agency.

A factor driving premarital investigations is the growing number of cases in which foreigners of Indian descent marry and then disappear, often taking huge dowries with them. It happens to 30,000 brides every year in northern Punjab state alone, according to India’s National Commission for Women.

dearieme June 30, 2012 at 5:38 am

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Andrew' June 30, 2012 at 5:54 am

Maybe we can replace all our vice squads with escort services and a tax to support the database management.

freethinker June 30, 2012 at 8:15 am

Such detective agencies thrive in India since dating is still forbidden in most so-called “respectable” families. The parents and other elder members of the extended family usually arrange marriages. The boy and girl have no way to get to know each other well enough to avoid adverse selection problems and it is left to the elders to find the right match. I don’t think the parents in western societies need such snooping services since the practice of dating minimizes problems of information asymmetry.

Isaac June 30, 2012 at 9:24 am

Um, have you tried online dating lately? While a small-town social context probably reduced the asymmetry historically; highly urban, mobile populations lead to much less information being exchanged in the dating process, through no fault of the participants.

anon June 30, 2012 at 9:29 am

Wish I had done this before marrying my now-ex-wife….

anon June 30, 2012 at 10:14 am

“According to detectives, investigations turn up significant problems in about 60% of cases.”
hah, no kidding.. no self-interest problem here…

ricardo June 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

Always check the stable door for the name of the sire and dam…

Helen DeWitt June 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm

MAN. THIS is what I needed all along. Instead of trying to weasel the low-down on editors out of literary agents, I should have outsourced to India. Get some charming Indian lady detective to sally forth with a consumer survey and offer of free shampoo. (Jack Daniels? Hey, it’s cheaper than a 15% commission.)

TallDave June 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm

A factor driving premarital investigations is the growing number of cases in which foreigners of Indian descent marry and then disappear, often taking huge dowries with them.

Heh. Incentives matter.

Send Flowers to Chennai June 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Nice Post.
I have read about that matter on other blog but not was even like that. :)
thanks for this helpful post.

Steve Sailer June 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

“the growing number of cases in which foreigners of Indian descent marry and then disappear, often taking huge dowries with them.”

If any economists are looking for a study to do, estimate the value of an American Green Card on the Indian marital market (from the incremental size of dowries that holders of Green Cards earn).

Then, come up with a plan for how American taxpayers can capture some of that surplus.

sunbomb June 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Might have been a good idea about 15 years ago. I find that the spouse that marries into a green card is a lot more discriminating nowadays, anecdotes notwithstanding.

TGGP June 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I believe Gary Becker proposed something like that.

Rahul July 1, 2012 at 5:13 am

I doubt value-estimation is your bottleneck here……..

Send Flowers to Indore July 4, 2012 at 7:16 am

Nice Post.
I have read about that matter on other blog but not was even like that. :)
thanks for this helpful post

Send Flowers to Bangalore July 10, 2012 at 2:36 am

your blog is very nice because it’s have good content and latest news so i am impress…

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