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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Poverty, gender, and youth
Title Poverty, marriage timing, and transitions to adulthood in Nepal: a longitudinal analysis using the Nepal living standards survey
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
URL http://popcouncil.org/pdfs/wp/pgy/019.pdf
This study examines the influence of household poverty experienced during early childhood on early marriage and outcomes in schooling and workforce participation for girls during adolescence in Nepal. Much of the evidence concerning these relationships is drawn from cross-sectional data that cannot be used to and has not been able to address causality. In this study, we use longitudinal data from the Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS), a two-wave panel in which the waves were conducted eight years apart to address these questions. For a sample of girls aged five to nine in the NLSS1 who were contacted again in the NLSS2 when they were aged 13 to 17 (N = 400), multinomial logistic regression estimates indicate that household poverty during childhood is associated with a higher likelihood that girls will marry early or join the workforce as adolescents rather than remain in school. Analyzing the data by household-wealth quintiles reveals surprisingly nonlinear results indicating that these associations are largest for the second-poorest quintile rather than for the poorest one. This study also highlights the role of the household rather than of the individual in decisionmaking for these adolescent girls.

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