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On the Economics of Polygyny

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  • Ted Bergstrom

    (University of Michigan, Dept of Economics)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 9410001.

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Date of creation: 08 Oct 1994
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:9410001

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References

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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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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Marry our daughter
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-11-19 13:29:00
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Cited by:
  1. Nils-Petter Lagerlof, 2002. "Sex, Equality, and Growth (in that order)," GE, Growth, Math methods 0212001, EconWPA.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Ted Bergstrom, 1995. "Economic in a Family Way," Papers _028, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Fenske, James, 2012. "African polygamy: Past and present," MPRA Paper 41618, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Aloysius Siow, 1996. "Differential Fecundity, Markets and Gender Roles," Working Papers siow-96-01, 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. Avi Simhon & Eric D. Gould & Omer Moav, 2005. "The Mystery of Monogamy," 2005 Meeting Papers 370, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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