Public policy addressing the harmful practice of adolescent marriage tends to leave out men, as prospective grooms. Using micro-level data from Nigeria in combination with plausible instrumental variables, we find that a male's education significantly decreases the likelihood that he marries an adolescent girl. We show that this negative relationship is not a mere mechanical effect reflecting the endogeneity between schooling and marriage-timing decisions, and that it is stronger where patriarchal gender norms are weaker. We develop a model that explains this causal effect as resulting from the complementarity between father's and mother's education in the production of child quality.
Sylvain Dessy : Department of Economics and CRREP, Université Laval. Email: email@example.com
Setou Diarra : Department of Economics and CRREP, Université Laval. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roland Pongou : Department of Economics, University of Ottawa. Email: email@example.com