NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Economics and Politics of Women's Rights

Matthias Doepke, Michèle Tertilt, Alessandra Voena

NBER Working Paper No. 17672
Issued in December 2011
NBER Program(s):   EFG   POL

Women's rights and economic development are highly correlated. Today, the discrepancy between the legal rights of women and men is much larger in developing compared to developed countries. Historically, even in countries that are now rich women had few rights before economic development took off. Is development the cause of expanding women's rights, or conversely, do women's rights facilitate development? We argue that there is truth to both hypotheses. The literature on the economic consequences of women's rights documents that more rights for women lead to more spending on health and children, which should benefit development. The political-economy literature on the evolution of women's rights finds that technological change increased the costs of patriarchy for men, and thus contributed to expanding women's rights. Combining these perspectives, we discuss the theory of Doepke and Tertilt (2009), where an increase in the return to human capital induces men to vote for women's rights, which in turn promotes growth in human capital and income per capita.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17672

Published: Matthias Doepke & Mich�le Tertilt & Alessandra Voena, 2012. "The Economics and Politics of Women's Rights," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 339-372, 07. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Duflo w17702 Women’s Empowerment and Economic Development
Fernández w15355 Women's Rights and Development
Ferreira and Gyourko w17671 Does Gender Matter for Political Leadership? The Case of U.S. Mayors
Alesina, Giuliano, and Nunn w17098 On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough
Doepke and Tertilt w13919 Women's Liberation: What's in It for Men?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us