Tuesday archive: I do, I do, I do, I do

From 11th February, 2006:

After more than a decade of war between separatist rebels and the Russian army, there are not many marriageable men to go around in Chechnya. So acting prime minister Ramzan Kadyrov, probably not a feminist, proposed a radical step: “Each man who can provide for four wives should do it.”

Polygyny (having more than one wife, as opposed to polygamy, which is having more than one spouse) is admissible under Islamic law but not Russian law, so Kadyrov is unlikely to make much progress with his proposal. But what difference would such a law make? It’s natural to assume that polygyny is bad for women, partly because most of us would rather have our spouse to ourselves, and partly because we look at a place like Saudi Arabia, where polygyny is not uncommon, and note that women aren’t even allowed to drive.

Continued at timharford.com.

Tim Harford’s blog

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Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.