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On the Economic of Polygyny

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  • Ted Bergstrom

    () (University of Michigan, Economic)

Abstract

About 80\% of all societies recorded by anthropologists are polygynous (men have many wives). Even our own society is less monogamous than claimed. This paper attempts to explain such mysteries as why bride prices and dowries are not ``opposites'', why polygamous societies are usually characterized by positive bride prices and dowry is mainly confined to monogamous societies, why polyandry (women having multiple husbands) is rare, but not extinct, and why the more you have to pay for a wife the better you will treat her.

Suggested Citation

  • Ted Bergstrom, "undated". "On the Economic of Polygyny," Papers _032, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:michec:_032
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ucsb.edu/~tedb/Evolution/polygyny3.ps
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joseph Chamie & Samar Nsuly, 1981. "Sex differences in remarriage and spouse selection," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(3), pages 335-348, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric D. Gould & Omer Moav & Avi Simhon, 2008. "The Mystery of Monogamy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 333-357, March.
    2. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, pages 124-157.
    3. Paul Cahu & Falilou Fall & Roland Pongou, 2014. "Beauty, Polygyny, and Fertility: Theory and Evidence," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14078, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    4. 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.
    5. Nils-Petter Lagerlof, 2002. "Sex, Equality, and Growth (in that order)," Macroeconomics 0212012, EconWPA.
    6. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 1996. "Economics in a Family Way," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1903-1934.
    7. Gillian Hamilton & Aloysius Siow, 1999. "Marriage and Fertility in a Catholic Society: Eighteenth-Century Quebec," Working Papers siow-99-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    8. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
    9. Sadettin Citci, 2014. "The rise of monogamy," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 377-397, November.
    10. Kudo, Yuya, 2014. "Religion and polygamy : evidence from the livingstonia mission in Malawi," IDE Discussion Papers 477, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    11. Aloysius Siow, 1998. "Differential Fecundity, Markets, and Gender Roles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 334-354, April.
    12. 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.
    13. Mbaye, Linguère Mously & Wagner, Natascha, 2013. "Bride Price and Fertility Decisions: Evidence from Rural Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 7770, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design

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