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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Marriage is the single most important economic transaction and social transition in the lives of young people. Yet little is known about the economics of marriage in much of the developing world. This paper examines the economics of marriage in North Africa, where asymmetric rights in marriage create incentives for extensive upfront bargaining and detailed marriage contracts. A description of the existing literature on the economics of marriage in North Africa demonstrates the scant and fragmentary nature of both theory and empirical work. Drawing on economic theories of the marriage market and game-theoretic approaches to bargaining, this paper proposes a unifying framework for understanding the economics of marriage in North Africa.

Keywords: economics of marriage, marriage market, marriage contract, bargaining, North Africa, age at marriage, marriage costs, consanguinity, nuclear residence

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