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The Role of Historical Resource Constraints in Modern Gender Inequality: A Cross-Country Analysis


  • Hazarika, Gautam

    () (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)

  • Jha, Chandan Kumar

    () (Louisiana State University)

  • Sarangi, Sudipta

    () (Louisiana State University)


We posit that historical resource scarcities played a role in the emergence of gender norms inimical to women that persist to this day. This thesis is supported by our finding that nations’ historical resource endowments, as measured by the historical availability of arable land, are statistically significantly negatively related to their present levels of gender inequality, as gauged by the United Nations Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index.

Suggested Citation

  • Hazarika, Gautam & Jha, Chandan Kumar & Sarangi, Sudipta, 2014. "The Role of Historical Resource Constraints in Modern Gender Inequality: A Cross-Country Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 8374, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8374

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2012. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 20-36, February.
    2. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
    3. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
    5. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-3252, December.
    6. G. Hazarika, 2000. "Gender Differences in Children's Nutrition and Access to Health Care in Pakistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 73-92, October.
    7. repec:hrv:faseco:33077826 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Susanne Schmitz & Paul Gabriel, 1992. "The impact of changes in local labor market conditions on estimates of occupational segregation," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 45-58, September.
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    More about this item


    scarcity; culture; history; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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