Polygyny, Women's Rights, and Development
AbstractMany Sub-Saharan African countries are extremely poor. It has been argued that the marriage system-in particular polygyny-is one contributing factor to the lack of development in this region. However, enforcing monogamy has proved to be very difficult. In this paper, I argue that transferring the right of choosing a husband from fathers to daughters might be an alternative policy that could potentially be easier to enforce. I use a calibrated general equilibrium model of polygyny to analyze such a policy. I find that giving daughters more choices has similar economic effects as a ban on polygyny. Both policies decrease the return on wives for men and thereby raise the incentive to invest in alternative assets. This increases the capital stock and hence GDP per capita. Quantitatively, however, I find that enforcing monogamy has much larger effects. (JEL: E0, O11, O55, J12, J13) (c) 2006 by the European Economic Association.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.
Volume (Year): 4 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
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Web page: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/jeea
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O55 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
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RePEc Biblio mentionsAs found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Gould, Eric D. & Moav, Omer & Simhon, Avi, 2012. "Lifestyles of the rich and polygynous in Cote d’Ivoire," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 404-407.
- MichÃ¨le Tertilt, 2012. "The Research Agenda: MichÃ¨le Tertilt on Gender in Macroeconomics," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), November.
- Raquel Fernández, 2009. "Women's Rights and Development," NBER Working Papers 15355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dalton, John T. & Leung, Tin Cheuk, 2011. "Why is Polygyny More Prevalent in Western Africa?: An African Slave Trade Perspective," MPRA Paper 32598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Tom Vogl, 2013. "Differential Fertility, Human Capital, and Development," Working Papers 1452, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Raquel Fernandez, 2010. "Women's Rights and Development," Working Papers 2011-029, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
- Todd Schoellman & Michèle Tertilt, 2006. "Marriage Laws and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 295-298, May.
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