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African polygamy: Past and present

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  • Fenske, James

Abstract

I evaluate the impact of education on polygamy in Africa. Districts of French West Africa that received more colonial teachers and parts of sub-Saharan Africa that received Protestant or Catholic missions have lower polygamy rates in the present. I find no evidence of a causal effect of modern education on polygamy. Natural experiments that have expanded education in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Kenya have not reduced polygamy. Colonial education and missionary education, then, have been more powerful sources of cultural change than the cases of modern schooling I consider.

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  • Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:117:y:2015:i:c:p:58-73
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.06.005
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    1. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Polygamy; Africa; Ethnic institutions; Family structures;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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