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Cooperation in Polygynous Households

Author

Listed:
  • Abigail Barr
  • Marleen Dekker
  • Wendy Janssens
  • Bereket Kebede
  • Berber Kramer

Abstract

Using a carefully designed series of public goods games, we compare, across monogamous and polygynous households, the willingness of husbands and wives to cooperate to maximize household gains. Compared to monogamous husbands and wives, polygynous husbands and wives are less cooperative, one with another, and co-wives are least cooperative, one with another. The husbands' and wives' behavior in a corresponding series of inter-household games indicates that these differences cannot be attributed to selection of less cooperative people into polygyny. Finally, behavior in polygynous households is more reciprocal and less apparently altruistic.

Suggested Citation

  • Abigail Barr & Marleen Dekker & Wendy Janssens & Bereket Kebede & Berber Kramer, 2019. "Cooperation in Polygynous Households," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 266-283, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:11:y:2019:i:2:p:266-83
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20170438
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. De Vreyer, Philippe & Nilsson, Björn, 2019. "When solidarity fails: Heterogeneous effects on children from adult deaths in Senegalese households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 73-94.
    2. Pal, Sumantra, 2018. "Spousal Violence and Social Norms in India's North East," EconStor Preprints 179422, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:121:y:2019:i:c:p:53-62 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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