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Matrimony and Microeconomics: A Critique of Becker's Analysis of Marriage

Christopher Westley


In this paper, I present Beckers explanation for the appearance of polygamy. In the same way that economic theory can predict the spread of polygamy, I argue that it can also explain its demise. I write this on the assumption that we are entering a time in which the practice of polygamy is going to receive a fuller hearing in our society, which has made greatsome would say brazenstrides toward the redefinition of marriage over the last twenty years. Yet, it is no accident that the greatest areas of economic growth over the past one thousand years occurred in cultures that eschewed polygamy. By utilizing a non-mathematical approach in contrast to Becker, I hope to show that polygamy may be doomed to failure.

Christopher Westley, "Matrimony and Microeconomics: A Critique of Becker's Analysis of Marriage," Journal of Markets & Morality 1, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 67-74

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