The impact of livelihood strategies of adolescent girls and poverty on marriage timing in Nepal: A study using the Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS)
Presentation at Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Detroit, 30 April
Publication date: 2009
In the developing world, child marriage, particularly among girls, remains prevalent at very high levels. Among factors that influence marriage timing for girls, relatively less attention has been paid to livelihood strategies such as economic participation compared to factors like schooling. This study aims to examine this important yet understudied topic by using longitudinal data from Nepal, where child marriage still exists at alarming levels. Using a two-wave panel of 962 households from the Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS), this study will examine the influence of such strategies and household poverty on the hazard of marriage before the age of 18 and on other important nonmarriage adolescent outcomes. While some evidence suggests that economic participation empowers girls and engenders greater autonomy in decisionmaking including about marriage, preliminary results from the NLSS show that economically active girls marry early, particularly in poor households. The interrelationship among these variables is examined further.