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Network Ecology of Marriage

Tamas David-Barrett

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Abstract: The practice of marriage is an understudied phenomenon in behavioural sciences despite being ubiquitous across human cultures. This modelling paper shows that replacing distant direct kin with in-laws increases the interconnectedness of the family social network graph, which allows more cooperative and larger groups. In this framing, marriage can be seen as a social technology that reduces free-riding within collaborative group. This approach offers a solution to the puzzle of why our species has this particular form of regulating mating behaviour, uniquely among pair-bonded animals.

Date: 2023-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo and nep-net
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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2310.05928