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The Economics of Polygyny in Sub-Saharan Africa: Female Productivity and the Demand for Wives in Cote d'Ivoire

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  • Jacoby, Hanan G

Abstract

This paper makes the first attempt to link African polygny directly to the productivity of women in agriculture using micro data. The author develops a structural model of the demand for wives that disentangles wealth and substitution effects. Using a large household survey from the Ivory Coast, the author finds that marked geographic diversity in cropping patterns leads to regional variation in female labor productivity. The author also finds that, conditional on wealth, men do have more wives when women are more productive, that is, cheaper. This substitution effect may explain why polygyny declined in rural areas of the Ivory Coast during agricultural development. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.

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  • Jacoby, Hanan G, 1995. "The Economics of Polygyny in Sub-Saharan Africa: Female Productivity and the Demand for Wives in Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 938-971, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:103:y:1995:i:5:p:938-71
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    1. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-391, April.
    2. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 11-26, Part II, .
    4. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-926, August.
    5. Edlefsen, Lee E, 1981. "The Comparative Statics of Hedonic Price Functions and Other Nonlinear Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1501-1520, November.
    6. Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 176-215, June.
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