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African polygamy: past and present

Fenske, James (2011) African polygamy: past and present. In: Modern and comparative economic history seminar, 2011-11-03, London, United Kingdom, GBR. (Submitted)

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Polygamy is common in Africa, and is blamed for negative outcomes. I use DHS data to test nine hypotheses about its prevalence and decline. First, historical inequality better predicts polygamy today than current inequality. Second, greater female involvement in agriculture reduces polygamy. Third, the slave trade predicts polygamy, but not robustly. Fourth, modern female education does not reduce polygamy. Colonial schooling does. Fifth, economic growth is weakly correlated with polygamy. Sixth and seventh, rainfall shocks and war increase polygamy, though their effects are small. Eighth, polygamy varies smoothly over borders, national bans notwithstanding. Finally, falling child mortality has reduced polygamy.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2011 17:04
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:06

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