Tag Archives: polygamy

Economic growth is good for monogamous marriage (and vice-a-versa)

One of the most interesting of the (ridiculously) long list of documents my daughter had to provide in order to work here in France was a letter stating that she would not enter a polygamous marriage. Polygamy is illegal in France, so you might think this pledge is as redundant as pledging not to become […]

Would Polygyny Create Army of Angry Sexless Criminals?

A recent article suggests that allowing polygyny would increase violent crime to such a degree that it would stifle economic growth. This is a logical conclusion if you assume that polygyny leaves many men without wives. The modern economy, however, has already disenfranchised the majority of low-income men from the marriage market.

Why didn’t Jane Austen Write “Pride and Polygyny”?

IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. So wrote Jane Austen in the opening line of her novel Pride and Prejudice.

Sexual Disenfranchisement Fuels Civil Unrest in Egypt

After listening to an interview on CBC Radio yesterday with the young Egyptian lawyer, Mohamed Badr, who was speaking out about his treatment in the hands of police after being taken into custody for participating in the protest against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, I was particularly struck by the reason he gave for his defiance. He told the […]

A Link Between Alcohol Consumption and Monogamy

I am not kidding when I say this, if I had to live in a household in which my husband had more than one wife, there would have to be alcohol involved; at bare minimum a cocktail hour, but preferably an open bar. The reality is, of course, that if you are in a polygynous […]

Education May Explain Why Rich Nations Prefer Monogamy

On Thursday we started talking about the economics of monogamy and polygyny and I told you one theory that might explain the puzzle as to why, over time, in rich countries monogamy has prevailed over polygyny despite high levels of inequality in those countries.  George Bernard Shaw in his 1903 “Maxims for Revolutionists” probably summarized that argument […]

The Economics of Monogamy and Polygyny

Imagine you took all the men in a particular society and lined them up according to their level of income. On one side of the line you would have the extremely wealthy, the Bill Gateses of the group, and on the other side you would have the extremely poor—perhaps those who live in cardboard boxes. […]