Does buying a wife make her more faithful?

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You heard that right. This study shows a connection in Uganda between how much a man pays for a bride and how faithful she is:

The custom of bride price involves the payment of goods or cash from the groom’s family to the bride’s family at the time of marriage. We present a theory that views bride price as a payment in hedonic markets for marital fidelity. Data from a household survey in Uganda are used to test the theoretical prediction that payment of bride price will be associated with fewer non-marital sexual relationships for women. The data show a robust association between bride price payment and lower rates of non-marital sexual relationships for women but not for men.

Source: “Far Above Rubies: The Association Between Bride Price and Extramarital Sexual Relations in Uganda” from IZA Discussion Paper No. 2982, August 2007

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