Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Doing Research on Polygamy

Are you interested in doing research on polygamy? If so, the Canadian gubmnt has some money to fund such research. In fact they have issued an urgent call for proposals.

It turns out that the arbiter of the funding is Status of Women Canada [sic]. Here is an excerpt from its call for proposals:

Status of Women Canada (SWC) believes that good policy depends on
good policy research. Any debate regarding polygamy, religious freedoms and the Criminal Code and related policies should be centered on finding policy solutions which fully respect gender equality.

Little independent research exists that has been published on polygamy and its effects on participants and on our wider society.
In order to best repare [sic] for possible debate surrounding Canada's polygamy policy, critical research is needed. It is vital that researchers explore the impacts of polygamy on women and children and gender equality as well as the challenges that polygamy presents to society.

As a male who would likely have risked being left without a partner in a society that permitted polygamy, I am understandably opposed to polygamy out of pure self-interest. It strikes me that in a society of free choice, permitting polygamy only increases the demand for women as potential marriage partners, thus making women better off relative to men, in comparison with the situation under monogamy. Do you think the funding committee would fund a research project along these lines?

For more on the economics of polygamy, see this chapter in David Friedman's Price Theory text, especially the first portion of the chapter.

[Thanks to BenS for the pointer to the call for proposals]
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