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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"On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough,"
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- 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.
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