Dowry has also come to be associated with prestige. If the groom AKA husband-to-be has finer attributes like holding a higher educational qualification or a better job as compared to the average he has greater market value and therefore is worth more dowry. A doctor on an engineer, for instance, has a lot more bargaining power in the big scheme of things.
If the groom is a man of character he cannot be bought by dowry. A simple fact Indian households are yet to realize.