The risk of polygamy and wives'saving behavior
In a polygamous society, all monogamous women are potentially at risk of polygamy. However, the anthropological and economic literatures are silent on the potential impact of the risk of polygamy on the economic decisions of monogamous wives. This paper explores this issue in Senegal, using individual panel data. The paper first estimates a Cox model for the probability of transition to polygamy. Second, it estimates the impact of the predicted risk of polygamy on monogamous wives'savings. The findings show a positive impact of the risk of polygamy on female savings entrusted to formal or informal institutions, which is suggestive of self-protective strategies. The increase in savings comes at the cost of reduced consumption of household food expenditures and wives'private nonfood expenses.
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