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.