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The lion’s share. An experimental analysis of polygamy in Northern Nigeria

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Abstract

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 common pool, but we find no evidence that polygynous households are less efficient than their monogamous counterparts. When men control the allocation, equal treatment of wives is common, but senior wives often receive more from their husbands, no matter what their contribution. However, the clearest result is that when men control the allocation, polygynous husbands receive a higher payoff compared to their wives and their monogamous counterparts.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-861
Number of pages29
JournalEconomic Development and Cultural Change
Volume67
Issue number4
Early online date23 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019
Peer-reviewedYes

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