Economics at your fingertips  

Women's Liberation: What's in It for Men?

Matthias Doepke and Michèle Tertilt

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2009, vol. 124, issue 4, pages 1541-1591

Abstract: The nineteenth century witnessed dramatic improvements in the legal rights of married women. Given that they took place long before women gained the right to vote, these changes amounted to a voluntary renunciation of power by men. In this paper, we investigate men's incentives for sharing power with women. In our model, women's legal rights set the marital bargaining power of husbands and wives. We show that men face a trade-off between the rights they want for their own wives (namely none) and the rights of other women in the economy. Men prefer other men's wives to have rights because men care about their own daughters and because an expansion of women's rights increases educational investments in children. We show that men may agree to relinquish some of their power once technological change increases the importance of human capital. We corroborate our argument with historical evidence on the expansion of women's rights in England and the United States.

Date: 2009
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

The Quarterly Journal of Economics is currently edited by Robert J. Barro, Elhanan Helpman, Lawrence F. Katz and Andrei Schleifer

More articles in The Quarterly Journal of Economics from Oxford University Press
Series data maintained by Oxford University Press ().

Page updated 2015-11-28
Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:4:p:1541-1591.