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Adult Mortality and Children's Transition into Marriage

Author(s): K. Beegle S. Krutikova

This piece of research focuses on whether marriage patterns among young adults in households affected by adult mortality differ from those in unaffected households. The empirical study seeks is to examine the propensity for young adults to be married as a result of a mortality event in their household, conditional on a set of background (pre-martial) conditions. The data for this study are drawn from a 13-year longitudinal study of people originally residing in the Kagera region of Tanzania. The first interviews were conducted over the period 1991-1994 and the same respondents were re-interviewed in 2004. First, the results of the research demonstrate that the loss of a father before the age of 15, results in a 13 percentage point increase in the probability of women aged 17 to 23 being married. In contrast, neither paternal nor maternal orphanhood have any impact on transition into marriage among men. Second, the results indicate that the significant positive effect of paternal orphanhood on the probability of marriage among young women only holds for those who were not in school at the time of paternal death. Third, the results show that the impact of paternal mortality on the probability of marriage varies depending on the occupational sector of the head of the household. It has been found that orphanhood has a significant impact on transition into marriage among women who, at a young age, were living in households headed by individuals employed in farming, as opposed to non-farming sectors.


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Author(s): K. Beegle S. Krutikova


Demographic Research


September 2008

Main theme(s):

Independent Child Migration Migration with Families

Sub-theme(s): Internal South - South

Tertiary theme(s): Economic

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Keywords: Adolescents Africa Bargaining Strategies Child mobility Healthcare HIV epidemic HIV/AIDS Household Kin Marriage Mortality Motivations Poverty Youth transition


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