On the Origin of the Family

We present a game theoretic model to explain why people form life long monogamous families. Three components are essential in our framework, paternal investment, fatherhood uncertainty, and, perhaps the most distinctive feature of all, the overlap of children of different ages. When all three conditions are present, monogamy is the most efficient form of sexual organization in the sense that it yields greater survivorship than serial monogamy, group marriage, and polygyny. Monogamy is also the only configuration that fosters altruistic ties among siblings. Finally, our result sheds light to the understanding of why most religions center around the monogamous fidelity family.


Issue Date:
2013-06
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/270431
Language:
English
Total Pages:
53
JEL Codes:
C72; D01; D10; J12; Z13
Series Statement:
WERP 1028




 Record created 2018-04-02, last modified 2018-04-02

Fulltext:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)