北九州市大手町ビル6階 アジア成長研究所 会議室
Ian Coxhead, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Kobe University
タイトル：「The Economic Consequences of Purdah and Dowry in a Developing Country: Pakistan」
Purdah refers to a set of practices that regulate women’s dress, behavior, and social activities, especially outside the family home. Importantly for this study, purdah places limits on a woman’s ability to seek paid employment outside her home or immediate locale. Dowry is a payment made at marriage by the bride’s family to that of the groom. It reflects, in part, differential earning power between wife and husband. Dowry is either banned or restricted by law in every South Asian country yet persists in all. It is a major financial burden on the families of many brides, and dowry disputes are the cause of widespread abuse and murder of women. Surprisingly, economists have devoted very little formal attention to either purdah or dowry. In this work we explore macroeconomic and microeconomic consequences of these practices, with special reference to Pakistan. Purdah is widely practiced in Pakistan and women’s labor force participation is among the lowest in the world. In contrast to comparable economies, women play very little role in the formal manufacturing economy. With an economy-wide ex ante model, we show that limitations on female participation in factory-based employment cause the misallocation of productive resources (including women’s labor), reduce the country’s potential for productive participation in the global economy, and widen the male-female earnings differential. We then argue that as a consequence in particular of the earnings gap, the demand for dowry remains strong despite legal restraints. Using national household survey data, we find that the need to generate dowry savings is a significant direct driver of male labor export, especially from poor households. In short, purdah and dowry are mutually reinforcing institutions that reduce labor productivity, undermine development opportunities, and reinforce gender-based economic inequality.