Gender Discrimination in Property Rights
In 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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- Paola Giuliano, 2012.
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- Otsuka, Keijiro & Suyanto, S. & Sonobe, Tetsushi & Tomich, Thomas P., 2001.
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1182, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
- Casari, Marco, 2007. "Emergence of Endogenous Legal Institutions: Property Rights and Community Governance in the Italian Alps," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(01), pages 191-226, March.
- Tine De Moor, 2009. "Avoiding tragedies: a Flemish common and its commoners under the pressure of social and economic change during the eighteenth century -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(1), pages 1-22, 02.
- Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2001. "Land, trees, and women: evolution of land tenure institutions in Western Ghana and Sumatra," Research reports 121, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Hansen, J.D. & Luckert, M.K. & Minae, S. & Place, F., 2005. "Tree planting under customary tenure systems in malawi: impacts of marriage and inheritance patterns," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 99-118, April.
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