Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Marriage Timing, Schooling Decision and Inter-Generational Effects: An Instrumental Variable Approach

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 2:25 PM
Tequesta (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Naveen Sunder, Cornell University
I use a nationally representative dataset for Uganda to estimate the impact of marriage age on later life outcomes for women and also on their children’s health outcomes. I use plausibly exogenous variation in the age of menarche of women to instrument for their marriage age. Using diagnostic checks and qualitative evidence, I find that the instrument is strong. A delay of one year in physical maturation of women leads to an increase of 0.45 years in their marriage age. Using age at menarche as an instrument in a Two Stage Least Squares (2SLS) framework, I find that a one year delay in marriage leads to an increase of 0.5-0.7 years of education and an increase of about 6-10 percent in the chance of being fully literate. I also find large and signif- icant negative effects of earlier marriage on other outcomes such as labour force participation, decision making power, perceived social status, contraceptive use and spousal characteristics. Additionally, In terms of intergenerational effects of early marriage, I find significant negative effects of early marriage on the child’s hemoglobin levels, probability of being anemic and severely anemic. I also find negligible negative effects on Body Mass Index (BMI), height and weight.

Full Paper: