Siwan Anderson from UBC will be presenting her paper, "Dowry and Property Rights", on Friday at 2.00 PM in Savery 302. Anybody interested in meeting with her during her visit here please let me know. The abstract for the paper is:
Dowries traditionally serve as a pre-mortem bequest to daughters. In segregated societies, where men have economic value but women do not, dowry as a bequest is consistent with assortative matching in the marriage market. During the early stages of modernisation, increased income inequality across men leads dowries as bequests to no longer be consistent with desired marriage matching patterns. It is demonstrated here that, instead, modernisation necessarily leads to the emergence of dowry as a direct transfer to the groom ("groom-price"). It is then shown that the historical instances of dowry can be classified according to the schema implied by the model. The implications of the model are also tested using current data from Pakistan; a country of some relevance because dowry legislation is currently an active policy debate. The results suggest that the transformation of dowry from bequest to groom-price appears to be underway in some areas.