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On the Economics of Polygyny

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  • Ted Bergstrom

    ()
    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

About 80\% of all societies recorded by anthropologists are polygynous (men have many wives). Even our own society is less monogamous than claimed. This paper attempts to explain such mysteries as why bride prices and dowries are not ``opposites'', why polygamous societies are usually characterized by positive bride prices and dowry is mainly confined to monogamous societies, why polyandry (women having multiple husbands) is rare, but not extinct,and why the more you have to pay for a wife the better you will treat her.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ucsb.edu/~tedb/Evolution/polygyny3.ps
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Michigan, Department of Economics in its series Papers with number _026.

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Date of creation: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:wop:michec:_026

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  1. Joseph Chamie & Samar Nsuly, 1981. "Sex differences in remarriage and spouse selection," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 335-348, August.
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  1. Marry our daughter
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-11-19 13:29:00
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Cited by:
  1. Eric D. Gould & Omer Moav & Avi Simhon, 2008. "The Mystery of Monogamy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 333-57, March.
  2. Nils-Petter Lagerlof, 2002. "Sex, Equality, and Growth (in that order)," GE, Growth, Math methods 0212001, EconWPA.
  3. Ted Bergstrom, 1995. "Economic in a Family Way," Papers _028, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  4. Mbaye, Linguère Mously & Wagner, Natascha, 2013. "Bride Price and Fertility Decisions: Evidence from Rural Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 7770, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Aloysius Siow, 1998. "Differential Fecundity, Markets, and Gender Roles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 334-354, April.
  6. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2008. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," Discussion Papers 07-050, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. James Fenske, 2012. "African Polygamy: Past and Present," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2012-20, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Gillian Hamilton & Aloysius Siow, 1999. "Marriage and Fertility in a Catholic Society: Eighteenth-Century Quebec," Working Papers siow-99-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Bergstrom, T., 1995. "Economics of a Family Way," Papers 95-07, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  10. Edlund, Lena & Ku, Hyejin, 2011. "The African Slave Trade and the Curious Case of General Polygyny," MPRA Paper 52735, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Dec 2013.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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