The Economics of Polygyny in Sub-Saharan Africa: Female Productivity and the Demand for Wives in Côte d'Ivoire

  title={The Economics of Polygyny in Sub-Saharan Africa: Female Productivity and the Demand for Wives in C{\^o}te d'Ivoire},
  author={Hanan G. Jacoby},
  journal={Journal of Political Economy},
  pages={938 - 971}
  • Hanan G. Jacoby
  • Published 1 October 1995
  • Economics, Sociology
  • Journal of Political Economy
Polygyny is still practiced throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, with important social consequences. This paper makes the first attempt to link African polygyny directly to the productivity of women in agriculture using micro data. I develop a structural model of the demand for wives that disentangles wealth and substitution effects. Using a large household survey from Côte d'Ivoire, I find that marked geographic diversity in cropping patterns leads to regional variation in female labor… 

The Role of Polygyny in the Intra-Household Efficiency of Agricultural Production in West Africa

Polygyny is an institution with deep roots in West Africa. Many papers have attempted to explain the rationality and persistence of this phenomenon through time. Less effort has been devoted to

The Intra-Household Economics of Polygyny: Fertility and Child Mortality in Rural Mali

Building on anthropological evidence, we develop a model of intra-household decision making on fertility and child survival within the framework of the collective household model. We carry out a test

Partnerships and production: Agriculture and polygyny in Tanzanian households

Women make important contributions to household food production in sub‐Saharan Africa. Women's agricultural productivity is often reduced, however, by inefficient intrahousehold allocation of

Demographic Transition in Africa: The Polygyny and Fertility Nexus

Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region of the world where the demographic transition is not about to be completed. Though mortality has declined since the 1960s, fertility remains very high. We

Education and Polygamy: Evidence from Cameroon

We take advantage of a wave of school constructions in Cameroon after World War II and use variations in school supply at the village level to estimate labor and marriage market returns to education

The Lion’s Share: An Experimental Analysis of Polygamy in Northern Nigeria

We use simple public goods games to investigate spousal behavior in Kano, northern Nigeria, one of the modern heartlands of polygyny. Most partners keep back at least half of their endowment from the

The allocation of resources within polygamous households : Evidence from Nigeria

Using household survey data from Nigeria we analyse the variation in labour supply across biological children within the polygamous household. In contrast with previous evidence, we find that

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 African Slave Trade and the Curious Case of General Polygyny

General polygyny -- near universal marriage and polygyny -- is common in Africa. But why would men marry n wives for 1/n:th of the time instead of monogamously? Downsides include prolonged

On the Timing of Marriage, Cattle and Weather Shocks in Rural Zimbabwe

The authors focus on the timing of marriages of women in rural Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean marriages are associated with bride welath payments, which are transfers from (the family of) the groom to the



An Economic Analysis of Polygyny: The Case of Maiduguri

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

Economic and demographic interrelationships in sub-Saharan Africa.

In most of Africa the process of structural change accompanying increasing industrialization has barely begun and features of African land tenure and family organization that encourage high fertility

The Demography of Polygyny in Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper investigates the contributions of age differences between spouses and widow remarriage in permitting high levels of polygyny in sub-Saharan Africa. Because the sex ratio below age 50 is

Polygyny and fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Future fertility trends in these areas are expected to remain high, even if age at marriage for women rises, because of lessened adherence to taboos of sexual abstinence, with continued lack of contraception.

The nuptiality regimes in sub-Saharan Africa.

While in historical Europe the modernization of marriage patterns proved to be a correlate of the fertility transition in sub-Saharan Africa the awaited nuptiality transition has been slow. In

Woman's Role in Economic Development.

Part 1 In the village: male and female farming systems the division of labour within African agriculture the plough, the veil and the labourer population pressure and sex roles in farming the

Economic aspects of child fostering in Cote d'Ivoire.

Examination of the economic determinants of child fostering decisions in Cote d'Ivoire, where in 1985 one-fifth of non-orphaned children age 7-14 were living away from both natural parents finds that fostering determinants can be formally tested.

Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India

A significant proportion of migration in low-income countries, particularly in rural areas, is composed of moves by women for the purpose of marriage. We seek to explain these mobility patterns by

Nonagricultural Family Enterprises in Cote D'Ivoire: A Descriptive Analysis

Non-agricultural self-employment is an important part of the economy in Cote d'Ivoire. About one third of the households, one fourth of all male workers and more than one half of all female workers

Household Size in Cote D'Ivoire: Sampling Bias in the Cilss

This paper reports on household size changes in the Cote d'Ivoire between 1985 and 1988 as evidenced by the Cote d'Ivoire Living Standards Survey (CILSS). The decline, from 8.31 to just 6.32, cannot