Working Paper
Polygamy and female labour supply in Senegal

In this paper, we explore the links between polygyny and female labour supply in Senegal using a nationally representative survey. In a reduced-form approach, we first measure the impact of polygyny on participation using a joint model of spouse participation.

The identification of the impact of polygyny relies on the use of district-level variables as instruments. We find a positive impact of polygyny on female labour force participation. Turning to a structural approach based on the collective household model, we examine the possibility that men within couples use polygyny as a threat to influence the distribution of resources in their favour.

The results are less conclusive regarding the role played by the risk of polygyny as an effective distribution factor.