Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

“When the heart is baked, don’t try to knead it”: Marriage age and spousal age gap as a measure of female ‘agency’

Contents:

Author Info

  • Sarah Carmichael
  • Tine De Moor
  • Jan Luiten van Zanden

Abstract

The study of the ages women marry and the age gap between husband and wife is well accepted by social-economic historians and demographers as it is highly associated with the growth of a population. There is however another reason for studying marriage patterns, that of female agency. Young girls who marry men many years their senior are likely left with very little say as to the terms of the union and later decisions made within the household. This is a hypothesis that has been explored by a number of authors recently as marriage patterns data is available on a large scale over a long time period. But how good a measure are ages at marriage of women and spousal age gaps. Rather than explore the mechanisms underlying this relationship this paper seeks to test marriage patterns as a measure of female empowerment by comparing a global set of marriage patterns data against three measures currently in use in the international development community, the Gender –related Development Index, the Global Gender Gap Index and the Gender Inequality Index. We use a new index of marriage ages (the Girlpower-Index) constructed by subtracting spousal age gap from marriage age and find that female SMAM and the Girlpower-Index both correlate strongly with the modern gender empowerment indices. This lends support to the use of marriage patterns as a historical measure of gender empowerment.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.cgeh.nl/sites/default/files/WorkingPapers/CGEH.WP_.No19.Carmichaeletal.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History in its series Working Papers with number 0019.

as in new window
Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0019

Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Utrecht, Drift 10, The Netherlands
Web page: http://www.cgeh.nl
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Marriage Patterns; Gender; Female agency; Female SMAM; spousal age gap; Gender empowerment indices;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Selin Dilli, 2013. "The Role of Female Agency in Politics: A Global Study, 1850-2000," Working Papers 0038, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0019. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sarah Carmichael).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.