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On the Origin of the Family

  • Motty Perry

    (University of Warwick & Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

  • Christian Ghiglino

    (University of Essex)

  • Marco Francesconi

    (University of Essex)

individuals care only for the propagation of their own genes, our analysis indicates that fidelity families dominate promiscuous pair bonding, in the sense that they can achieve greater survivorship and enhanced genetic fitness. The explanation lies in the free riding behavior that characterizes the interactions between competing fathers in the same promiscuous pair grouping. Kin ties could also be related to the emergence of the family. When we consider a kinship system in which an adult male transfers resources not just to his offspring but also to his younger siblings, we find that kin ties never emerge as an equilibrium outcome in a promiscuous environment. In a fidelity family environment, instead, kinship can occur in equilibrium and, when it does, it is efficiency enhancing in terms of greater survivorship and fitness. The model can also be used to shed light on the issue as to why virtually all major world religions are centered around the importance of the family.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 581.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:581
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