Featured Project

August 29, 2018

The Economics of Polygynous Households in Sierra Leone

Nearly 1.3 billion people around the world live on less than $1.25 a day, and in most of the countries of this population, polygyny is legal and common. In Sierra Leone, 37% of married women are in polygynous unions. These families are often in rural areas, with low literacy and education.

When designing aid programs to help alleviate poverty, who is receiving the benefits when you have multiples adults in a household? This project from the University of San Francisco will measure how family members in these environments compete to maximize personal resources, and cooperate to maximize collective gains. 

The team will be running field experiments designed to measure competition between spouses and co-wives, and their generosity towards the other spouses. Outcomes will be measured in terms of health, education, and economic impacts for spouses and their children. These findings could help to shape future aid policies that provide benefits for a single head of household or wife. 

Featured Results

Crowdfunded scientific discoveries

Did the Pima Indians design arrow points specifically to penetrate Apache rawhide shields?

14 Experiment backers funded a study to see if Pima Indians designed arrow points specifically to penetrate Apache rawhide shields. Last January the team published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

In the paper, they present results of controlled experiments designed to test projectile points made from stones of varying impact strength. The research results suggest that highly homogenous fine-grained materials with low impact strength perform well when penetrating elastic materials such as skin and muscle. 

The research team is still planning on publishing at least one more journal article from the data collected using their Experiment campaign.

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