Apr 20, 2012

Can't buy me love

A large body of literature depicts that status‐based discrimination is pervasive, but is silent on how economic incentive interacts with such discrimination. This study addresses this question by designing a field experiment in a reputable arranged marriage market that is prone to strong caste‐status‐based discrimination. We place newspaper advertisements of potential grooms by systematically varying their caste and income and focus on responses of higher‐caste females to lower‐caste males. The substantive finding is that despite the evidence of discrimination, discriminatory behavior of higher‐status females decreases with an increase in the advertised monthly income of lower‐status males.
That is the abstract of the paper "Can't Buy Me Love: A Field Experiment Exploring the Tradeoff Between Income and Caste in the Indian Matrimonial Market" by Dugar et al. (Economic Inquiry, April 2012). See an early draft.  

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