Watta Satta: Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan

Jacoby, Hanan G. ; Mansuri, Ghazala

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Abstract

In a setting where husbands wield considerable coercive power, forms of marriage should adapt to protect the interests of women and their families. The authors study the pervasive marriage custom of watta satta in rural Pakistan, a bride exchange between families coupled with a mutual threat of retaliation. They show that watta satta may be a mechanism to coordinate the actions of two sets of in-laws, each of whom wish to restrain their sons-in-law but who only have the ability to restrain their sons. The authors' empirical results support this view. The likelihood of marital inefficiency, as measured by estrangement, domestic abuse, and wife's mental health, is significantly lower in watta satta arrangements as compared with conventional marriages, but only after properly accounting for selection.

Document type: Working paper
Publisher: The World Bank
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Date: 2007
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 18 December 2015
Number of Pages: 23
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Customs, etiquette, folklore
Controlled Subjects: Pakistan, Ländlicher Raum, Ehe
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pakistan, Ländlicher Raum, Eheform, Tradition / Pakistan, Rural Area, Marriage, Tradition
Subject (classification): Anthropology
Sociology
Countries/Regions: Pakistan
Additional Information: © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/7130 License: CC BY 3.0 Unported
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