Women’s liberation: What’s in it for men?

Doepke, Matthias ; Tertilt, Michèle

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3386/w13919
URL: https://www.nber.org/papers/w13919
Additional URL: http://tertilt.vwl.uni-mannheim.de/research/WomenD...
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2008
The title of a journal, publication series: NBER Working Paper
Volume: 13919
Place of publication: Cambridge, MA
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Makro- u. Entwicklungsökonomie (Tertilt 2010-)
Subject: 330 Economics
Abstract: The nineteenth century witnessed dramatic improvements in the legal rights of marriedwomen. Given that they took place long before women gained the right to vote, these changesamounted to a voluntary renouncement of power by men. In this paper, we investigate men’sincentives for sharing power with women. In ourmodel, women’s legal rights set the maritalbargaining power of husbands and wives. We show that men face a tradeoff between therights they want for their own wives (namely none) and the rights of other women in theeconomy. Men prefer other men’s wives to have rights because men care about their owndaughters and because an expansion of women’s rights increases educational investments inchildren. We show that men may agree to relinquish some of their power once technolog-ical change increases the importance of human capital. We corroborate our argument withhistorical evidence on the expansion of women’s rights in England and the United States.

Dieser Datensatz wurde nicht während einer Tätigkeit an der Universität Mannheim veröffentlicht, dies ist eine Externe Publikation.

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