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An evolutionary theory of monogamy

Francesconi, Marco and Ghiglino, Christian and Perry, Motty (2016) 'An evolutionary theory of monogamy.' Journal of Economic Theory, 166 (C). pp. 605-628. ISSN 0022-0531

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This paper presents a non-cooperative evolutionary model to explain the widespread diffusion of lifelong monogamous families. The essential condition, unique to humans, is the overlap of children of different ages. Under this condition, together with the salience of paternal investment and fatherhood uncertainty, monogamy attains a greater survivorship than serial monogamy and polygyny. This result is robust to a number of extensions, including the presence of kin ties, resource inequality, group marriage, and the risk of adult mortality.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Overlapping generations; Free riding; Serial monogamy; Polygyny; kinship; Social norms
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2016 14:23
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:10

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