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Shreyasee Das and Shatanjaya Dasgupta
''Hidden costs of industrial disasters: Marriage market consequences of the Bhopal Gas Disaster''
( 2023, Vol. 43 No.2 )
This paper examines the marriage market consequences of one of the world's deadliest industrial disasters, the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster in India. The gas leak resulted in casualties of upwards of 3,000 people and affected over 500,000 people. Using the 2015-16 National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) and a difference-in-difference (DID) strategy, we find that the Bhopal Gas Disaster reduced marriage rates of men and increased the age at marriage for those men who were able to get married. These results are driven by the negative health and employment outcomes of men exposed to the disaster. Additionally, we examine the quality of matches and find a decrease in the spousal educational gap and an increased likelihood of men being matched with women with similar adverse health issues. Our results highlight far-reaching demographic effects beyond the detrimental health effects resulting from industrial disasters.
Keywords: Bhopal Gas Disaster, India, marriage, health effects, industrial disaster
JEL: J1 - Demographic Economics: General
D1 - Household Behavior: General
Manuscript Received : Jun 15 2022 Manuscript Accepted : Jun 30 2023

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