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Perhaps dowry helps explain why footbinding was apparently good for rent-seeking in China but not in other contexts. If, for example, there was greater wealth inequality in China, and families wished for their daughters to "marry up", dowry might be much larger.

But how then did other cultures get girls and young women to work at looms and with spindles? No footbinding in Europe or South America and still women produced much of the textiles needed in a home.

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