IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/empleg/v7y2010i2p322-354.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Gendered Dimensions of Inheritance: Empirical Food for Legal Thought

Author

Listed:
  • Daphna Hacker

Abstract

Inheritance is an extremely significant personal, familial, social, and legal phenomenon. Due to the significance of inheritance in wealth distribution and family relations, it is essential to uncover and discuss its gendered dimensions, which have benefited from surprisingly little empirical or legal attention. This article provides an updated state‐of‐the‐art review of the limited available empirical data on women as legators and on women as heirs in different parts of the world. The review is based on 23 studies, including the original results from a study the author conducted on inheritance in Israel, which illuminates the reach of insights that can be drawn from an inheritance study that focuses on gender. The review shows a sharp dichotomy between the ongoing discrimination women experience in non‐Western societies in relation to inheritance and the social reality in the West, in which inheritance is a rare economic space in which women enjoy privilege, power, and control. Although egalitarian inheritance laws have had a dramatic impact on women's representation in intestacy and their participation in will writing in the West, the data demonstrate that even in this part of the world, cultural patriarchal practices persist and limit women's inheritance rights and, accordingly, point to the importance of creating legal mechanisms that can counterbalance these practices. Moreover, the available data indicate the value of freedom of testation for women and the importance of ceasing to regard care as cause for suspicion in inheritance law, and instead viewing it as a practice deserving of reward. Finally, the article identifies the areas in which further research on gender and inheritance is warranted, hopefully spurring greater interest and developments in the field.

Suggested Citation

  • Daphna Hacker, 2010. "The Gendered Dimensions of Inheritance: Empirical Food for Legal Thought," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 7(2), pages 322-354, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:empleg:v:7:y:2010:i:2:p:322-354
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-1461.2010.01180.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-1461.2010.01180.x
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/j.1740-1461.2010.01180.x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. Estudillo & A. Quisumbing & K. Otsuka, 2001. "Gender Differences in Land Inheritance, Schooling and Lifetime Income: Evidence from the Rural Philippines," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 23-48.
    2. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2001. "Land Inheritance and Schooling in Matrilineal Societies: Evidence from Sumatra," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2093-2110, December.
    3. Majid Ezzati & Ari B Friedman & Sandeep C Kulkarni & Christopher J L Murray, 2008. "The Reversal of Fortunes: Trends in County Mortality and Cross-County Mortality Disparities in the United States," PLOS Medicine, Public Library of Science, vol. 5(4), pages 1-12, April.
    4. Osama J. A. R. Abu Shair, 1997. "Privatization and Development," Palgrave Macmillan Books, Palgrave Macmillan, number 978-1-349-25374-6, Januario-.
    5. Deere, Carmen Diana & Leon, Magdalena, 2003. "The Gender Asset Gap: Land in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 925-947, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Edward Kutsoati & Randall Morck, 2014. "Family Ties, Inheritance Rights, and Successful Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Ghana," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes, Volume II: Human Capital, pages 215-252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Asiedu, Edward & Ibanez, Marcela, 2014. "The weaker sex? Gender differences in punishment across Matrilineal and Patriarchal Societies," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 165743, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    3. Sheridan, Alison & Newsome, Lucie & Howard, Tanya & Lawson, Andrew & Saunders, Skye, 2021. "Intergenerational farm succession: How does gender fit?," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    4. Alisa C. Lewin, 2018. "Intentions to Live Together Among Couples Living Apart: Differences by Age and Gender," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 34(5), pages 721-743, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sproule, Kathryn & Kieran, Caitlin & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Doss, Cheryl, 2015. "Gender, headship, and the life cycle: Landownership in four Asian countries:," IFPRI discussion papers 1481, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Doss, Cheryl R. & Theis, Sophie, 2017. "Women’s land rights as a pathway to poverty reduction: A framework and review of available evidence," IFPRI discussion papers 1663, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Roy, Sanchari, 2015. "Empowering women? Inheritance rights, female education and dowry payments in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 233-251.
    4. Deere, Carmen Diana & Leon, Magdalena, 2003. "The Gender Asset Gap: Land in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 925-947, June.
    5. M. Casari & M. Lisciandra, 2013. "Gender Discrimination in Property Rights," Working Papers wp914, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Thomas Vendryes, 2014. "Peasants Against Private Property Rights: A Review Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5), pages 971-995, December.
    7. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth & Quisumbing, Agnes & Doss, Cheryl & Theis, Sophie, 2019. "Women's land rights as a pathway to poverty reduction: Framework and review of available evidence," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 72-82.
    8. Carmen Diana Deere & Cheryl Doss, 2006. "The Gender Asset Gap: What Do We Know And Why Does It Matter?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1-2), pages 1-50.
    9. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2001. "Land Inheritance and Schooling in Matrilineal Societies: Evidence from Sumatra," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2093-2110, December.
    10. Roy, Sanchari, 2011. "Empowering Women: Inheritance Rights and Female Education in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 46, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    11. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Johnson, Nancy & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Njuki, Jemimah & Behrman, Julia A. & Rubin, Deborah & Peterman, Amber & Waithanji, Elizabeth, 2011. "Gender, assets, and agricultural development programs: A conceptual framework:," CAPRi working papers 99, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Pandolfelli, Lauren, 2010. "Promising Approaches to Address the Needs of Poor Female Farmers: Resources, Constraints, and Interventions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 581-592, April.
    13. Casari, Marco & Lisciandra, Maurizio, 2015. "Gender Discrimination and Common Property Resources," IZA Discussion Papers 9601, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Lambrecht, Isabel, 2016. "“As a husband I will love, lead, and provide:†Gendered access to land in Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1514, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Casari, Marco & Lisciandra, Maurizio, 2014. "Gender Discrimination and Common Property Resources: a Model," MPRA Paper 57712, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. La Ferrara, Eliana, 2007. "Descent rules and strategic transfers. Evidence from matrilineal groups in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 280-301, July.
    17. Lambrecht, Isabel Brigitte, 2016. "“As a Husband I Will Love, Lead, and Provide.” Gendered Access to Land in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 188-200.
    18. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Payongayong, Ellen M. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2004. "Are wealth transfers biased against girls?," FCND briefs 186, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    19. Anastassios Gentzoglanis, 2002. "Privatization, Investment and Efficiency in the Telecommunications Industry: Theory and Empirical Evidence from MENA Countries," Working Papers 0230, Economic Research Forum, revised 10 Oct 2002.
    20. repec:dgr:rugsom:01a21 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Bezabih, Mintewab & Holden, Stein, 2010. "The Role of Land Certification in Reducing Gender Gaps in Productivity in Rural Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-10-23-efd, Resources For the Future.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:empleg:v:7:y:2010:i:2:p:322-354. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://doi.org/10.1111/(ISSN)1740-1461 .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://doi.org/10.1111/(ISSN)1740-1461 .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.