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Bargaining Power and Inheritance Norms: Evidence from Polygamous Households in Nigeria

Jennifer Golan and Alessia Isopi

Economics Discussion Paper Series from Economics, The University of Manchester

Abstract: We develop a polygamous household model with child labour improving the value of the future inheritable asset. The model predicts that increasing mothers' relative bargaining power increases children’s labour supply, especially when social norms assign a greater inheritance share to the mother's child. Using data from Nigeria and the variation in mothers' bargaining power and inheritance norms, we find that children of the first wife work more than children of other mothers within the polygamous household. This result is more pronounced for boys, landed households and settings where first wives increase their returns to inheritance via their offspring.

Date: 2022-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-soc
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