Why arranged marriage is costlier than you might think

…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. These results suggest that
lowering the incentive for parental control in mate choice may improve
investments in women’s human capital in India.

That’s from Divya Mathur; here is the paper, she is on the job market this year from Chicago.  I take the implicit model to be that parents want a wife who will obey her in-laws.  Sons want wives who will earn some money and be more interesting to talk to.  Put the son in charge and the supply of potential mates responds accordingly.


Comments for this post are closed