Markets in Everything: Iraqi Mixed Marriages

Muhanad Talib, a Sunni Muslim, married his Shiite bride because she was a "suitable woman" for him. It also didn't hurt that their vows made them eligible for a $2,000 payout from the government.

Talib and his wife are among more than 1,700 newlywed couples who have accepted cash from a government program that encourages Sunnis and Shiites to tie the knot.

It's encouraging that according to the AP story such marriages are on the rise and the money seems to be treated more like a bonus than a compensating differential for risk.

Hat tip to Daniel Lippman.

Comments

Why, Alex, are you not decrying this subsidy as a government distortion of the market for mixed marriages? I'm afraid you'll fail your next libertarian purity test.

What libertarian story will you use to validate government interest in mixed marriages?

Comments for this post are closed

Yes. I, too, wish economists would confine the use of their tools and their analysis to a minority of potentially useful applications. Things are best when they are contained in narrow boxes with low ceilings.

Comments for this post are closed

Wow. People shouldn't really be so shocked by posts about non-economics topics on MR.

Comments for this post are closed

However, they definitely shouldn't pay people to get married. Rather, if they must pay them, they should pay when they have children.

Comments for this post are closed

There's a really great 'cash for clunkers' joke in here, I just can't quite see it.

Comments for this post are closed

Hey, a great idea; wonder if a gay rights foundation can raise money to offer $5000 cash bonuses for conservative Christian men to marry a gay man?

Comments for this post are closed

Wow, weird comments on this post. Was it not clear from the title that these were marriages in Iraq? I assume most people know this but it's encouraging because not too long ago men and women in mixed marriages in Iraq were being kidnapped and killed.

Comments for this post are closed

Comments for this post are closed