Poverty, marriage timing, and transitions to adulthood in Nepal: A longitudinal analysis using the Nepal Living Standards Survey
Presentation at the XXVI IUSSP International Population Conference, Marrakech, 28 September
Publication date: 2009
This study examines the influence of household poverty on early marriage and other adolescent outcomes in schooling and workforce participation for girls in Nepal. These relationships, which remain underexamined in the developing world, are explored using longitudinal data from a two-wave panel of the Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS). For a sample of girls aged 5-9 years in the NLSS1 who are then followed as young adults in the NLSS2 (N=400), multinomial logistic regression estimates indicate that household poverty during childhood is associated with a higher likelihood of marriage or participation in the workforce as young adults relative to school enrolment. Further analysis with household wealth quintiles reveals nonlinear results indicating that associations are largest for the second quintile than for the poorest quintile. Avenues for future research including the identification of mechanisms that mediate these relationships such as marital financial transfers (e.g., dowry) are discussed.