We are using a variety of approaches to estimate the impacts of child marriage on specific development outcomes, as well as the financial implications of these impacts at various levels.
During our first phase of work, we have established a robust methodological foundation by outlining several pathways through which child marriage might influence economic outcomes, from the level of the individual on up to the nation. We have thus far analyzed existing data from nearly 20 countries to understand the economic impacts of child marriage through, for example, health expenditures, educational attainment, and labor force participation rates.
In the second phase of the project, we will collect and analyze new and highly relevant data in three countries, including Ethiopia and Niger. We will interview thousands of women in these countries to better understand how their age at marriage may have impacted their lives.
Obtaining this information in three diverse settings will allow us further validate our pathways and analyses. Combined, our analyses will contribute significantly to the global evidence base on the overall effects of child marriage.
To ensure the broad uptake of our research findings, we will disseminate the results of this study globally, and will also strengthen the capacity of governments and organizations in affected countries to utilize the evidence to advocate for positive change in ending child marriage.