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On the Origin of the Family

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  • Francesconi, Marco

    (University of Essex)

  • Ghiglino, Christian

    (University of Essex)

  • Perry, Motty

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

We present a game theoretic model to explain why people form life long monogamous families. Three components are essential in our framework, paternal investment, fatherhood uncertainty, and, perhaps the most distinctive feature of all, the overlap of children of different ages. When all three conditions are present, monogamy is the most efficient form of sexual organization in the sense that it yields greater survivorship than serial monogamy, group marriage, and polygyny. Monogamy is also the only conguration that fosters altruistic ties among siblings. Finally, our result sheds light to the understanding of why most religions center around the monogamous delity family. JEL classification: Overlapping generations ; Free riding ; Kinship systems ; Religion JEL codes: C72 ; D01 ; D10 ; J12 ; Z13

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 1028.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1028

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Why monogamy?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-11-01 16:00:00
  2. Why families?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-02-02 15:39:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Tomoki Fujii, 2012. "Dynamic Poverty Decomposition Analysis: An Application to the Philippines," Working Papers 34-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  2. Brishti Guha, 2012. "Grandparents as Guards: A Game Theoretic Analysis of Inheritance and Post Marital Residence in a World of Uncertain Paternity," Working Papers 37-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  3. David de la Croix, 2012. "From Polygamy to Serial Monogamy: a Unified Theory of Marriage Institutions," 2012 Meeting Papers 49, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Dirk Bethmann, 2011. "Marriage Regimes," FEMM Working Papers 110029, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  5. Brishti Guha, 2012. "Gambling on Genes: Ambiguity Aversion Explains Investment in Sisters’ Children," Working Papers 33-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.

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