Polygyny, Inequality, and Social Unrest - Exploring the Mechanisms
This paper proposes three mechanisms via which polygyny may be related to social unrest. We propose three theoretical mechanisms that are related to different dimensions of grievances-inducing and, partly, greed-related inequality, which may occur in polygynous societies. These dimensions include (i) economic, reproductive and social inequality resulting in relative deprivation among non-elite men; (ii) inequality within elites when it comes to the distribution of resources and inheritance, both related to the relative position of dependent family members in a clan; and (iii) gender inequality in general. Using data for 41 African countries, we provide first evidence on these mechanisms and their relation to social unrest between 1990 and 2014.