The timing of orphanhood, early marriages and marital outcomes in Senegal

the Monday 08 January 2018 at l’Ined, salle Sauvy de 11h30 à 12h30

Presented by : Paola Villar (PSE, Paris 1 et Ined) ; Discussant : Karine Marazyan (Paris 1-IEDES)

In developing countries, paternal mortality can affect children through a certain number of pathways, including the timing and quality of their first marriages. Using retrospective data from the survey "Pauvrete et Structure Familiale", carried in Senegal in 2011, this study examines the effect of the father’s death on subsequent transition into marriage of female orphans. In particular I study both the effect of the father’s loss on the likelihood for the young daughters to be married as child brides and on proxies of marriage and husband’s quality, and provide some evidence of the mechanisms at play. I find that female orphans are 40% more at risk to be married as child brides, conditional on observables, and this increase is mostly driven by girls who lost their father during pubescence. Those young orphans are also more likely to be married endogamously and to receive lower bride prices than their non-orphans counterparts. When looking at potential mechanisms, results suggests that social pressure for the widow mother to remarry and a lower bargaining power of the family of the deceased on the marriage market are the more plausible channels applying in this context. 

Paola Villar

Paola Villar est actuellement doctorante en Sciences Economiques à l’Ecole d’Economie de Paris et à l’INED. Sa thèse porte sur le lien entre pauvreté, normes sociales et choix d’allocation des ressources en Afrique Sub-Saharienne.