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The Intra-household Economics of Polygyny: Fertility and Child Mortality in Rural Mali

Author

Listed:
  • Harounan Kazianga

    () (Oklahoma State University)

  • Stefan Klonner

    () (Frankfurt University)

Abstract

Building on anthropological evidence, we develop a model of intra-household decision making on fertility and child survival within the framework of the collective household model. We carry out a test of the implications of this framework with data from Demographic and Health Surveys in rural Mali, where polygyny rates among married women are close to 50 per cent. The econometric tests reject the implications of efficient intra-household allocations for junior wives in bigynous households and fail to reject for senior wives in bigynous households as well as for wives in monogamous households. These findings are consistent with existing narrative evidence according to which co-wife rivalry is responsible for resource-consuming struggle and junior wives are the adults with the weakest bargaining position in the household.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:okl:wpaper:0902
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Polygyny, Fertility, and Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1341-1370, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boris Branisa & Stephan Klasen & Maria Ziegler, 2009. "Why we should all care about social institutions related to gender inequality," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 15, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    2. Edlund, Lena & Ku, Hyejin, 2011. "The African Slave Trade and the Curious Case of General Polygyny," MPRA Paper 52735, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Dec 2013.
    3. Alistair Munro & Bereket Kebede & Marcela Tarazona-Gomez & Arjan Verschoor, 2010. "The lion’s share. An experimental analysis of polygamy in Northern Nigeria," GRIPS Discussion Papers 10-27, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    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. Abir, Raphael & Boll, Christina & Bonin, Holger & Gerlach, Irene & Hank, Karsten & Laß, Inga & Nehrkorn-Ludwig, Marc-André & Reich, Nora & Reuß, Karsten & Schnabel, Reinhold & Stichnoth, Holger & Wilk, 2014. "Evaluation der Wirkung ehe- und familienbezogener Leistungen auf die Geburtenrate/Erfüllung von Kinderwünschen. Endbericht. Gutachten für die Prognos AG," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 110573, May.
    6. Anyck Dauphin, 2013. "The Role of Polygyny in the Intrahousehold Efficiency of Agricultural Production in West Africa," Cahiers de recherche 1323, CIRPEE.
    7. 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;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. Julia Anna Matz, 2016. "Productivity, Rank, and Returns in Polygamy," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(5), pages 1319-1350, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intrahousehold models; polygyny; child mortality; fertility; Mali;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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