Sunday, March 05, 2006

Why the West doesn't have arranged marriages?

Previously, we discussed differences in the assumptions which underly preferences for arranged marriages or love matches. However, why did an arranged marriage system persist longer in the East than in the West?

This article argues that (as usual) the Catholic Church is responsible. The author argues that the church had incentives to try and make it more difficult for people to marry and reproduce (because the childless would leave their belongings to the church) and to respect consent marriage because it was more likly to separate individuals (and their property) from the larger family which made it easier for them to give property to the church.

I am sure other factors play a role, but it is an interesting argument (based in economic logic) so I pass it along.

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