Gender Discrimination in Property Rights
AbstractIn the Middle Ages women in the Italian Alps had substantially more rights on collective properties than in the Modern Age. The documental evidence shows a progressive erosion of women’s rights and a convergence toward gender-biased inheritance systems. We tracked the evolution of inheritance regulations on collective land in the peasant communities of Trentino over a period of six centuries (13th-19th). Considering a panel of hundreds of communities, we provide a long-term perspective of institutional change. When population pressure increased, a patrilineal system emerged as a protective measure to preserve the per-capita endowment of collective properties within a community. This study raises general issues about the role of local level versus centralized decision-making in delivering gender equality and about the long-term trade-off between the protection of common resources and a healthy genetic pool at the community level.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp914.
Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Other versions of this item:
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-12-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2013-12-20 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2013-12-20 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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