The economics of female genital cutting

Tatyana Chesnokova, Rhema Vaithianathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


The practice of female genital cutting (FGC) has a long history in Africa and it is thought that over 130 million females alive today have undergone the practice. In this paper, we model FGC as a pre-marital investment. We show how the rat-race nature of the marriage market may result in inefficiently high equilibrium levels of FGC. We argue that in this case, regulation results in a (potential) Pareto improvement and that even weak regulation can be effective in eradicating FGC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number64
JournalB.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • female genital cutting
  • marriage
  • pre-marital investment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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    Chesnokova, T., & Vaithianathan, R. (2010). The economics of female genital cutting. B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, 10(1), [64].