3. Watta satta.pdf - American Economic Association"Watta Satta Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan Author(s Hanan G Jacoby and Ghazala

3. Watta satta.pdf - American Economic Association"Watta...

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American Economic Association "Watta Satta": Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan Author(s): Hanan G. Jacoby and Ghazala Mansuri Source: The American Economic Review, Vol. 100, No. 4 (SEPTEMBER 2010), pp. 1804-1825 Published by: American Economic Association Stable URL: . Accessed: 22/10/2014 05:27 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] . American Economic Association is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The American Economic Review. This content downloaded from on Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:27:30 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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American Economie Review 100 (September 2010): 1804-1825 . aeaweb. or g/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer. 100.4.1804 Watta Satta: Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan By Hanan G. Jacoby and Ghazala Mansuri* "[Watta satta] means that you will give a daughter and receive the same in return. It also implies that if our daughter will be in pain, we will treat your daughter the same way." ? (woman from Badeen, Sindh)1 Marriage is perhaps the epitome of an incomplete contract; its terms can never be fully speci fied ex ante or enforced ex post. A vast body of literature has thus highlighted the role of post marital bargaining in determining intrahousehold allocations (seminal papers include Marilyn Manser and Murray Brown 1980; Marjorie B. McElroy and Mary Jean Horney 1981; and Shelly J. Lundberg and Robert A. Pollak 1993).2 In traditional societies, where women's formal legal rights are often weak, divorce is strongly stigmatized, and there is a high premium on female virginity, bargaining power can shift radically in favor of the man once the woman commits herself to marriage. This fact should have implications for the form of the marriage "contract"; in particular, we would expect its ex ante provisions to reflect the interestsof the wife and her family in deterring or mitigating ex post malfeasance on the part of the husband. In this paper, we argue that exchange marriage in rural Pakistan can play just such a role. Bride exchange, known locally as watta satta (literally, "give-take"), usually involves the simul taneous marriage of a brother-sister pair from two households. Remarkably, watta satta accounts for about a third of all marriages in rural Pakistan. Watta satta is more than just an exchange of daughters, however; it also establishes the shadow of mutual threat across the marriages.
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