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Author Notes:

Correspondence to: Kathryn M. Yount, Asa Griggs Candler Chair of Global Health, Professor of Global Health and Sociology, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd. NE, Room 7029, Atlanta, GA 30322, Tel: 404-727-8511; Fax: 404-727-4590

We thank Dr. Ragui Assaad and his team for assistance with data preparation and anonymous reviewers for their comments on prior versions of this work.

We also thank Dr. Sarah Zureick-Brown and Dr. Kristin VanderEnde for their contributions to the conceptualization of this study and to Ms. Sylvie Dodell for assistance with data preparation.


Research Funding:

A research grant (1 R03 HD076368-01/02; PI Yount) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development supported the work presented here.


  • Social Sciences
  • Development Studies
  • Economics
  • Business & Economics
  • age at first marriage
  • Egypt
  • economic empowerment
  • family economic agency
  • market work
  • panel analysis
  • WORK

Women's Age at First Marriage and Long-Term Economic Empowerment in Egypt


Journal Title:

World Development


Volume 102


, Pages 124-134

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 calls on nations to promote gender equality and to empower women and girls. SDG5 also recognizes the value of women's economic empowerment, entailing equal rights to economic resources and full participation at all levels in economic decisions. Also according to SDG5, eliminating harmful practices—such as child marriage before age 18—is a prerequisite for women's economic empowerment. Using national data for 4,129 married women 15–43 years who took part in the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey (ELMPS 1998–2012), we performed autoregressive, cross-lagged panel analyses to assess whether women's first marriage in adulthood (at 18 years or older, as reported in 2006), was positively associated with their long-term post-marital economic empowerment, measured as their engagement in market work and latent family economic agency in 2012. Women's first marriage in adulthood had positive unadjusted associations with their market work and family economic agency in 2012. These associations persisted after accounting for market work and family economic agency in 2006, pre-marital resources for empowerment, and cumulative fertility. Policies to discourage child marriage may show promise to enhance women's long-term post-marital economic empowerment.

Copyright information:

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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