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The Role of Polygyny in the Intrahousehold Efficiency of Agricultural Production in West Africa

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  • Anyck Dauphin

Abstract

Polygyny is an institution with deep roots in West Africa. Many papers have attempted to explain the rationality and persistence of this phenomenon through time. Less effort has been devoted to studying the effect of polygyny on household economic behavior. This question is policy relevant given the pressure underway to eliminate polygyny. This paper provides new empirical evidence on whether polygyny leads to an improvement or a worsening of intra-household efficiency for three countries with high levels of polygyny: Benin, Burkina Faso and Senegal. The evidence we obtain is mixed. In Benin, polygyny does not seem to have an impact on intra-household efficiency, while it appears, in the longer run, to improve it in Burkina Faso, but to decrease it in Senegal.

Suggested Citation

  • Anyck Dauphin, 2013. "The Role of Polygyny in the Intrahousehold Efficiency of Agricultural Production in West Africa," Cahiers de recherche 1323, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1323
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    File URL: http://www.cirpee.org/fileadmin/documents/Cahiers_2013/CIRPEE13-23.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nava Ashraf, 2009. "Spousal Control and Intra-household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1245-1277, September.
    2. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
    3. Harounan Kazianga & Stefan Klonner, 2009. "The Intra-household Economics of Polygyny: Fertility and Child Mortality in Rural Mali," Economics Working Paper Series 0902, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    4. Richard Akresh & Joyce J. Chen & Charity T. Moore, 2016. "Altruism, Cooperation, and Efficiency: Agricultural Production in Polygynous Households," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 661-696.
    5. 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, .
    6. 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.
    7. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1993. "Sequential Labor Decisions under Uncertainty: An Estimable Household Model of West-African Farmers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1173-1197, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marie Boltz & Isabelle Chort, 2015. "The Risk of Polygamy and Wives Saving Behavior," PSE Working Papers halshs-01183453, HAL.
    2. Nkechi S. Owoo & Elizabeth Bageant & Joanna Upton, 2018. "Food insecurity and family structure in Nigeria," Working Papers PMMA 2018-02, PEP-PMMA.
    3. Elisabeth Cudeville & Charlotte Guénard & Anne-Sophie Robilliard, 2017. "Polygamy and female labour supply in Senegal," WIDER Working Paper Series 127, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Polygyny; Efficiency; Agriculture; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D79 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Other
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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