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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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)
Contact details of provider:
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
You can help add them by filling out this form.
RePEc Biblio mentionsAs found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- 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.
- 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.
- Raquel Fernandez, 2010. "Women's Rights and Development," Working Papers 2011-029, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
- 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, 2014. "Women’s rights and development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 37-80, March.
- Oriana Bandiera & Niklas Buehren & Robin Burgess & Markus Goldstein & Selim Gulesci & Imran Rasul & Munshi Sulaiman, 2014. "Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 50, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- 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.
- Raquel Fernández, 2009. "Women's Rights and Development," NBER Working Papers 15355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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..
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.