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Food insecurity and family structure in Nigeria

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  • Nkechi S. Owoo

Abstract

The article explores a series of questions and hypotheses related to polygynous family structures and both household and individual-level food security outcomes, using the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Survey data from Nigeria, collected in 2011 and 2013. A Correlated Random Effects (CRE) model is used to examine the relationship between polygyny and household-level food security, and the degree to which it is mediated by household wealth, size, and livelihood. A Household Fixed Effect model is employed to explore whether a mother’s status as monogamous versus polygynous relates systematically to her child’s health, and also whether child outcomes of senior wives are better than outcomes of junior wives within polygynous households. We find that polygynous households have better food security outcomes than monogamous households with differences in household composition and agricultural livelihood as potential explanatory mechanisms. We also find that within polygynous households, children of junior wives have better health outcomes than children of senior wives.

Suggested Citation

  • Nkechi S. Owoo, 2018. "Food insecurity and family structure in Nigeria," Working Papers PMMA 2018-02, PEP-PMMA.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:pmmacr:2018-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Agnes R. Quisumbing & John A. Maluccio, 2003. "Resources at Marriage and Intrahousehold Allocation: Evidence from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and South Africa," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(3), pages 283-327, July.
    6. Anyck Dauphin, 2013. "The Role of Polygyny in the Intrahousehold Efficiency of Agricultural Production in West Africa," Cahiers de recherche 1323, CIRPEE.
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    9. Amy Ickowitz & Lisa Mohanty, 2015. "Why Would She? Polygyny and Women's Welfare in Ghana," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 77-104, April.
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    11. Han, Peter & Foltz, Jeremy, 2015. "Polygyny: Cooperation vs. Competition among Wives on Child Health," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205722, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Richard Akresh & Joyce J. Chen & Charity T. Moore, 2012. "Productive Efficiency and the Scope for Cooperation in Polygynous Households," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(2), pages 395-401.
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    Keywords

    Food security; child nutrition; Polygyny; Nigeria;

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