The economics of exogamous marriage in small‐scale societies

Economic Inquiry Vol/Iss. 54(4) Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Published In Pages: 1805-1823
By Dow, Gregory K., Reed, Clyde G., Woodcock, Simon


The authors develop and empirically test a model in which exogamy is negatively predicted by community size, due to decreasing heterogeneity from endogenous marriages in small settlements, and positively predicted by disparity in productivity between communities which is 'smoothed out' by transfer of community members through exogamous marriages. Support for both predictions is found, which is used to argue that cultural traits like marriage customs are heavily influenced by population-environment relationships.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Standard Cross Cultural Sample (SCCS)Murdock & White (1969)n = 82 (Restricted to societies without slavery or missing data)

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:jack.dunnington