Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



This working paper examines the influence of household poverty experienced during early childhood on early marriage and outcomes in schooling and workforce participation during adolescence for girls in Nepal. Much of the evidence concerning these relationships is drawn from cross-sectional data that cannot be used, and has not been able, to address causality. This Population Council study uses 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. 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.