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date: 25 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the economics literature on marriage in developing countries. Marriage in these countries differ from marriage in high-income countries in several crucial ways, including the prevalence of marriage and cohabitation; the process of mate selection; customs concerning the transfer of resources between families at the time of marriage; the laws governing marital dissolution; and cultural norms about gender roles in spousal interactions. This chapter describes how marital matching occurs, the trends in age at marriage, assortative mating patterns, marriage payments, and spousal decision making after a marriage has occurred. Lastly, it discusses trends and rationales for consanguineous and polygamous marriages—practices that are largely unique to the developing world.

Keywords: marriage, developing countries, marriage payments, assortative mating, age at marriage, polygamy

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