Economics at your fingertips  

Polygamy and child mortality: Historical and modern evidence from Nigeria’s Igbo

Vellore Arthi and James Fenske ()

Review of Economics of the Household, 2018, vol. 16, issue 1, No 6, 97-141

Abstract: Abstract We use historical and modern data on the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria to assess the relationship between polygamy and child mortality. We examine several possible channels for this correlation, and test its sensitivity to observable characteristics of individuals, households, and regions in order to infer the scope for selection on unobservables to drive the polygamy-child mortality correlation. We find a statistically significant positive relationship between polygamy and child mortality in the modern period, and a statistically insignificant positive relationship in the historical data. Although there is a limited role for polygamist-specific intra-household dynamics and behavioral practices in shaping the mortality of children in such households, the sensitivity of the polygamy-child mortality correlation is consistent with an important role for selection into polygamy, particularly on unobservable characteristics.

Keywords: Polygamy; Child mortality; Family economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (15) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... cs/journal/11150/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s11150-016-9353-x

Access Statistics for this article

Review of Economics of the Household is currently edited by Shoshana Grossbard

More articles in Review of Economics of the Household from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

Page updated 2023-01-03
Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:16:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11150-016-9353-x