An Economic Analysis of Polygyny: The Case of Maiduguri

@article{Grossbard1976AnEA,
  title={An Economic Analysis of Polygyny: The Case of Maiduguri},
  author={Amyra Grossbard},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  year={1976},
  volume={17},
  pages={701 - 707}
}
  • Amyra Grossbard
  • Published 1 December 1976
  • Economics, Sociology
  • Current Anthropology
This article demonstrates that economic analysis can contribute helpful insights to the understanding of marriage choices in a non-Western society. Polygyny illustrates ideally the relevance of economics to any topic where scarcity constrains the attainment of valued goals. All predictions derived from economic theory are confirmed in the empirical analysis of households in the polygynous city of Maiduguri, in northeastern Nigeria. The novelty of this study lies in the hypotheses generated by… 
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This analysis shows that with the shift to stratified agricultural economies, the population frequency of relatively poor individuals increased, increasing wealth inequality, but decreasing the frequency of individuals with sufficient wealth to secure polygynous marriage, and diminishing marginal fitness returns to additional wives prevent extremely wealthy men from obtaining as many wives as their relative wealth would otherwise predict.
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