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

36 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2006  

Harounan Kazianga

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater

Stefan Klonner

Yale University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

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 of the implications of this framework with data from Demographic and Health Surveys in rural Mali, where polygyny rates among married women are close to 50 percent. The econometric tests reject the implications of efficient intra-household allocations for junior wives in bigynous households and fail to reject for senior wives in bigynous households as well as for wives in monogamous households. These findings are consistent with existent narrative evidence according to which co-wife rivalry is responsible for resource-consuming struggle and junior wives are the adults with the weakest bargaining position in the household.

Keywords: intrahousehold models, polygyny, child mortality, fertility, Mali

JEL Classification: D13, I12, J13, O15

Suggested Citation

Kazianga, Harounan and Klonner, Stefan, The Intra-Household Economics of Polygyny: Fertility and Child Mortality in Rural Mali (July 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=923095 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.923095

Harounan Kazianga (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

Stefan Klonner

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States
203-436-4827 (Phone)
203-432-3898 (Fax)

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