Andrew Sweeney

New Research Finds a Link Between the Cost of Getting Married and the Outbreak Violent Conflict

The high price of getting married can lead young men to take up arms.

That is the conclusion of a new cutting-edge research paper that finds a correlation between what is known as “brideprice” and the outbreak of violent conflict. Some 75% of the world’s population live in societies that practice some form of wealth transfer, like a dowry payment, from young men to the families of women they want to marry. Researchers Hillary Matfess and Valerie Hudson have found that fluctuations in these payments can instigate conflict.

Their research is published in the Summer 2017 issue of the academic journal International Security.  Hillary Matfess is on the line to discuss her findings, including case studies in Nigeria, South Sudan and Saudi Arabia.

Anyone who has ever taken an international relations or security class knows that there are volumes of research on what causes the outbreak of violent conflict. Matfess and Hudson identify one new linkage with very real-world policy implications.

If you have 30 minutes and want to learn more about the intersection of the economics of marriage, violent conflict and women’s rights, have a listen.

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