Women's Rights and Development
AbstractWhy has the expansion of women's economic and political rights coincided with economic development? This paper investigates this question, focusing on a key economic right for women: property rights. The basic hypothesis is that the process of development (i.e., capital accumulation and declining fertility) exacerbated the tension in men's conflicting interests as husbands versus fathers, ultimately resolving them in favor of the latter. As husbands, men stood to gain from their privileged position in a patriarchal world whereas, as fathers, they were hurt by a system that afforded few rights to their daughters. The model predicts that declining fertility would hasten reform of women's property rights whereas legal systems that were initially more favorable to women would delay them. The theoretical relationship between capital and the relative attractiveness of reform is non-monotonic but growth inevitably leads to reform. I explore the empirical validity of the theoretical predictions by using cross-state variation in the US in the timing of married women obtaining property and earning rights between 1850 and 1920.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2011-029.
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- A Oswald & N Powdthavee, 2008.
"Daughters and Left Wing Voting,"
08/18, Department of Economics, University of York.
- Bertocchi, Graziella, 2007.
"The Enfranchisement of Women and the Welfare State,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2922, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Bertocchi, Graziella, 2011. "The enfranchisement of women and the welfare state," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 535-553, May.
- Graziella Bertocchi, 2008. "The Enfranchisement of Women and the Welfare State," Discussion Papers 4_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
- Graziella Bertocchi, 2008. "The Enfranchisement of Women and the Welfare State," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 018, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
- Graziella Bertocchi, 2007. "The Enfranchisement of Women and the Welfare State," CHILD Working Papers wp15_07, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
- Bertocchi, Graziella, 2007. "The Enfranchisement of Women and the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 6396, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter, 2003. "Slavery and other property rights," MPRA Paper 372, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Aug 2006.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Simon, Curtis & Tamura, Robert, 2008.
"Fertility decline, baby boom and economic growth,"
7719, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr. & Robert Tamura, 2002.
"How important are capital and total factor productivity for economic growth?,"
2002-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2006. "How Important are Capital and Total Factor Productivity for Economic Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 23-49, January.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001.
"Das Human Kapital,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Michael R. Haines & Allen C. Goodman, 1991. "A Home of One's Own: Aging and Homeownership in the United States in the late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries," NBER Historical Working Papers 0021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Samuel H. Preston & Michael R. Haines, 1991. "New Estimates of Child Mortality during the Late Nineteenth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Late Nineteenth-Century America, pages 49-87 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Iyigun, Murat & Walsh, Randall P., 2007. "Endogenous gender power, household labor supply and the demographic transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 138-155, January.
- Samuel H. Preston & Michael R. Haines, 1991. "The Social and Medical Context of Child Mortality in the Late Nineteenth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Late Nineteenth-Century America, pages 3-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gall, Thomas & Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew, 2012.
"Mismatch, rematch, and investment,"
Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics
189, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
- Thomas Gall & Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2009. "Mis-match, Re-match, and Investment," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-189, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Michèle Tertilt, 2006. "Polygyny, Women's Rights, and Development," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 523-530, 04-05.
- Iyigun, Murat & Walsh, Randall P., 2005. "Building the Family Nest: Pre-Marital Investments, Marriage Markets and Spousal Allocations," IZA Discussion Papers 1752, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Lena Edlund & Rohini Pande, 2002. "Why Have Women Become Left-Wing? The Political Gender Gap And The Decline In Marriage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jennifer Pachon).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.