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The risk of polygamy and wives'saving behavior


  • Boltz,Marie
  • Chort,Isabelle


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Boltz,Marie & Chort,Isabelle, 2016. "The risk of polygamy and wives'saving behavior," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7860, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7860

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippe De Vreyer & Sylvie Lambert & Abla Safir & Momar Sylla, 2008. "Pauvreté et Structure Familiale. Pourquoi une nouvelle enquête ?," Post-Print hal-01399214, HAL.
    2. Libertad González & Berkay Özcan, 2013. "The Risk of Divorce and Household Saving Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 404-434.
    3. Marie Boltz & Karine Marazyan & Paola Villar, 2016. "Income Hiding and Informal Redistribution: A Lab in the Field Experiment in Senegal," PSE Working Papers halshs-01157710, HAL.
    4. Dauphin, Anyck & Fortin, Bernard, 2001. "A test of collective rationality for multi-person households," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 211-216, May.
    5. Lambert, Sylvie & Ravallion, Martin & van de Walle, Dominique, 2014. "Intergenerational mobility and interpersonal inequality in an African economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 327-344.
    6. Anyck Dauphin, 2013. "The Role of Polygyny in the Intrahousehold Efficiency of Agricultural Production in West Africa," Cahiers de recherche 1323, CIRPEE.
    7. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10922 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
    9. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pauline Rossi, 2016. "Strategic Choices in Polygamous Households: Theory and Evidence from Senegal," PSE Working Papers halshs-01340567, HAL.
    2. Elisabeth Cudeville & Charlotte Guénard & Anne-Sophie Robilliard, 2017. "Polygamy and female labour supply in Senegal," WIDER Working Paper Series 127, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Jean-Marie Baland & Roberta Ziparo, 2017. "Intra-household bargaining in poor countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 108, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item


    Governance Diagnostic Capacity Building;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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