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Productivity, Rank and Returns in Polygamy

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  • Julia Anna Matz

    () (Institute for International Integration Studies and Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract

This study sheds light on the development of family structures in a polygamous context and offers an explanation for the association between outcomes of children and the status of their mothers among wives, based on observable maternal characteristics. Using a game theoretical approach I show that highly productive wives are more strongly demanded in the marriage market than less productive ones so that a selection into being the first wife with respect to productivity takes place. Furthermore, productivity is positively associated with a woman's bargained share of family income to be spent on consumption and investment, due to greater contributions to family income and larger outside options. The findings are empirically supported by a positive relationship between indicators of female productivity, women's levels of seniority among wives, and their children's educational outcomes in rural Ethiopia.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Anna Matz, 2011. "Productivity, Rank and Returns in Polygamy," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp390, IIIS, revised Jul 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp390
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Matz, Julia Anna, 2013. "Ethnicity, Marriage and Family Income," Discussion Papers 154935, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Polygamy; Rank; Intrahousehold Allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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