IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Origins of the Institutions of Marriage

  • Marina E. Adshade

    ()

    (Dalhousie University)

  • Brooks A. Kaiser

Standard economic theories of household formation predict the rise of institutionalized polygyny in response to increased resource inequality among men. We propose a theory, within the framework of a matching model of marriage, in which, in some cases, institutionalized monogamy prevails, even when resources are unequally distributed, as a result of agricultural externalities that increase the presence of pair-bonding hormones. Within marriage, hormone levels contribute to the formation of the marital pair bond, the strength of which determines a man's willingness to invest in his wife's children. These pair bonds are reinforced through physical contact between the man and his wife and can be amplified by externalities produced by certain production technologies. Both the presence of additional wives and the absence of these externalities reduce the strength of the marital bond and, where the fitness of a child is increasing in paternal investment, reduce a woman's expected lifetime fertility. Multiple equilibria in terms of the dominant form of marriage (for example, polygyny or monogamy) are possible, if the surplus to a match is a function of reproductive success as well as material income. Using evidence from the Standard Cross Cultural Sample and Murdock's Ethnographic Atlas, we find that agricultural production externalities that affect neurological pair-bonding incentives significantly reduce the tendency to polygyny, even when resource inequality is present.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1180.pdf
File Function: First version 2008
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1180.

as
in new window

Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1180
Contact details of provider: Postal: Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2250
Fax: (613) 533-6668
Web page: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Graziella Bertocchi, 2006. "The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 43-70, 03.
  2. Gould, Eric D. & Moav, Omer & Simhon, Avi, 2003. "The Mystery Of Monogamy," Discussion Papers 14992, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521849043 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Paul J. Zak, 2005. "The Neuroeconomics of Trust," Experimental 0507004, EconWPA.
  5. Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, 2005. "Sex, equality, and growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 807-831, August.
  6. Zak, Paul J. & Fakhar, Ahlam, 2006. "Neuroactive hormones and interpersonal trust: International evidence," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 412-429, December.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521613477 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Talk:Marriage/Archive 9 in Wikipedia English ne '')

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1180. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Babcock)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.