Poverty, marriage timing and transitions to adulthood in Nepal: a longitudinal analysis using the Nepal Living Standards Survey

Ashish Bajracharya, Population Council
Sajeda Amin, Population Council

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 under-examined 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 to 9 years in the NLSS1 who are then followed as young adults 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 non linear 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.

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Presented in Session 42: Adolescent life courses in developing countries