Land Use and Marriage Timing in Nepal
Scott T. Yabiku, Arizona State University
I examine the relationship between patterns of land use and marriage timing in the Chitwan Valley, a rural area in south-central Nepal. In this setting, I conceptualize a relevant dimension of land use as the portion of land in each neighborhood devoted to agricultural use. Using discrete-time event history methods, I estimate the effects of land devoted to agriculture on the rate of marriage among 1009 never-married individuals. Land devoted to agriculture has a positive effect on the rate of marriage. A portion of this effect, however, may be mediated through measures of neighborhood nonfamily organizations, such as places of employment. As agricultural land decreases, nonagricultural employment opportunities are likely to increase. Employers are potential intervening mechanisms between land use and marriage timing because employment outside the home may weaken parental authority while at the same time giving young people more independence.