Young Development Economists Webinar Series (YoDEV) – Rossella Calvi (Rice University), June 3rd at 2:30 p.m. (CET)

Rossella Calvi (Rice University)  on Til Dowry Do Us Part: Bargaining and Violence in Indian Families(with Ajinkya Keskar), jointly organised by the Department of Economics and Management of Università di Pavia, Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca e Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano. The webinar will be held on Thursday, 3rd June 2021 at 2:30 p.m. (CET) via Zoom. Click here in order to connect. For further information on the Young Development Economists Webinars, you can visit our website.


We develop a non-cooperative bargaining model with incomplete information linking dowry payments, domestic violence, resource allocation between a husband and a wife, and separation. Our model generates several predictions, which we test empirically using amendments to the Indian anti-dowry law as a natural experiment. We document a decline in women’s decision-making power and separations, and a surge in domestic violence following the amendments. These unintended effects are attenuated when social stigma against separation is low and, in some circumstances, when gains from marriage are high. Whenever possible, parents increase investment in their daughters’ human capital to compensate for lower dowries.