Polygyny, Child Education, Health and Labour: Theory and Evidence from Mali

36 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018

See all articles by Setou Diarra

Setou Diarra

University of Ottawa - Department of Economics

Laetitia Lebihan

University of Ottawa - Department of Economics

Charles Olivier Mao Takongmo

University of Western Ontario - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 17, 2018

Abstract

In this paper, we use the Demographic and Health Survey conducted in Mali to compare children in polygynous families and their counterparts in monogamous families. We also analyse the link between the mothers' order of marriage and their children's outcomes. We finally propose a theoretical model to rationalise our findings. Our results show that children in polygynous families are less enrolled in school, progress less at school and do less domestic household work compared to children from monogamous families. For polygynous families, we found that educational enrollment and progress of children of the first wife are higher than that of children of the second and subsequent wives. Moreover, weight-for-height and body mass index are both lower for children of first wives compared to children of second and subsequent wives. Children of first wives work more at home compared to children of second and subsequent wives. Our theoretical model predicts that if fathers discriminate against their first wives and if effort at school is positively correlated to the father's discrimination, then, on average, children of first wives will perform better at school but will consume less and will have a lower health outcomes compared to children of second wives.

Keywords: Family structure, Polygyny, Education, Health, Child labour, Mali

JEL Classification: I14, J13, O12, O15

Suggested Citation

Diarra, Setou and Lebihan, Laetitia and Mao Takongmo, Charles Olivier, Polygyny, Child Education, Health and Labour: Theory and Evidence from Mali (August 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3234373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3234373

Setou Diarra

University of Ottawa - Department of Economics ( email )

Social Sciences Building Room 9005
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

Laetitia Lebihan

University of Ottawa - Department of Economics ( email )

Social Sciences Building Room 9005
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

Charles Olivier Mao Takongmo (Contact Author)

University of Western Ontario - Department of Economics ( email )

Social Science Centre, Room 4071
London, Ontario N6A 5C2
Canada

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
20
Abstract Views
259
PlumX Metrics