In recent years the practice of dowry has witnessed sharp changes in south India. Dowry has become an all castle/class phenomenon and average dowry payments have risen. These changes have been associated with several negative consequences for women, including their survival. Despite these consequences the practice of dowry continues unabated. Based on data from a south Indian village, this paper examines the link between dowry and domestic violence. We argue that larger dowries reduce marital violence by increasing the economic resources of the marital household, enhancing the social status of the groom and his family, and serving as an asset over which the woman enjoys relatively more control. While women with generous dowries may benefit, a continued upward spiral in dowry expectations will exacerbate daughter aversion and may fuel sex selective abortion and female infanticide.
|Series||ISS working papers. General series|
- ISS Working Paper-General Series