Women's Rights and Development
Why 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.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006.
"Daughters and Left-Wing Voting,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2103, 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961.
- 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).
- Murat Nick & P. Randall Walsh, 2007. "Building the Family Nest: Premarital Investments, Marriage Markets, and Spousal Allocations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 507-535.
- Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2002.
"How important are capital and total factor productivity for economic growth?,"
FRB Atlanta Working Paper
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.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000.
"Das Human Kapital,"
2000-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Simon, Curtis & Tamura, Robert, 2008.
"Fertility decline, baby boom and economic growth,"
7719, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Samuel H. Preston & Michael R. Haines, 1991. "Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Late Nineteenth-Century America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pres91-1, September.
- Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter, 2003. "Slavery and other property rights," MPRA Paper 372, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Aug 2006.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7464. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.