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Women, Medieval Commerce, and the Education Gender Gap

  • Bertocchi, Graziella

    ()

    (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

  • Bozzano, Monica

    ()

    (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

We investigate the historical determinants of the education gender gap in Italy in the late nineteenth century, immediately following the country's Unification. We use a comprehensive newly-assembled database including 69 provinces over twenty-year sub-samples covering the 1861-1901 period. We find robust evidence that female primary school attainment, relative to that of males, is positively associated with the medieval pattern of commerce, along the routes that connected Italian cities among themselves and with the rest of the world. The effect of medieval commerce is particularly strong at the non-compulsory upper-primary level and persists even after controlling for alternative long-term determinants reflecting the geographic, economic, political, and cultural differentiation of medieval Italy. The long-term influence of medieval commerce quickly dissipates after national compulsory primary schooling is imposed at Unification, suggesting that the channel of transmission was the larger provision of education for girls in commercial centers.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7224.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7224
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  1. Bertocchi, Graziella, 2011. "The enfranchisement of women and the welfare state," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 535-553, May.
  2. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 133-156, Fall.
  3. Cantoni, Davide & Yuchtman, Noam, 2012. "Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution," Discussion Papers in Economics 12896, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Claudia Goldin & Claudia Olivetti, 2013. "Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on U.S. Women's Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 18676, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  8. Marco Percoco, 2010. "Path Dependence, Institutions and the Density of Economic Activities: Evidence from Italian Cities," Working Papers 2010.110, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. Brian A'Hearn & Franco Peracchi & Giovanni Vecchi, 2008. "Height and the normal distribution: Evidence from Italian military data," CEIS Research Paper 124, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Jul 2008.
  10. Dincecco, Mark & Federico, Giovanni & Vindigni, Andrea, 2011. "Warfare, Taxation, and Political Change: Evidence from the Italian Risorgimento," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(04), pages 887-914, December.
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  12. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola & Nunn, Nathan, 2011. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," IZA Discussion Papers 5735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2011. "When the State Mirrors the Family: The Design of Pension Systems," Working Papers 392, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  14. Becker, Sascha & Woessmann, Ludger, 2008. "Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-20, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  15. Doepke, Matthias & Hazan, Moshe & Maoz, Yishay D., 2007. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 3253, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2008. "Nature or Nurture? Learning and the Geography of Female Labor Force Participation," NBER Working Papers 14097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Monica Bozzano, 2012. "Assessing Gender Inequality among Italian Regions: The Italian Gender Gap Index," Quaderni di Dipartimento 174, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
  18. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2002. "Women, War and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Mid-Century," NBER Working Papers 9013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Gilles Duranton & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Richard Sandall, 2007. "Family Types and the Persistence of Regional Disparities in Europe," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 10, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
  20. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in Nineteenth-century Prussia," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 777-805, December.
  21. Goldin, Claudia D. & Olivetti, Claudia, 2013. "Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on Women's Labor Supply," Scholarly Articles 13041327, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Bertocchi, Graziella & Brunetti, Marianna & Torricelli, Costanza, 2012. "Is It Money or Brains? The Determinants of Intra-Family Decision Power," IZA Discussion Papers 6648, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Guido de Blasio & Giorgio Nuzzo, 2010. "Historical Traditions Of Civicness And Local Economic Development," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 833-857.
  24. Carlo Ciccarelli & Stefano Fenoaltea, 2013. "Through the magnifying glass: provincial aspects of industrial growth in post-Unification Italy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(1), pages 57-85, 02.
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  26. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 2664307, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  27. repec:bdi:workqs:qse_06 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Paul Schultz, T., 2002. "Why Governments Should Invest More to Educate Girls," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 207-225, February.
  29. Goldin, Claudia D, 1991. "The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women's Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 741-56, September.
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