Abstract

Whether women have equal rights to inherit as men serves can serve as an indication of their legal standing and general and is also and important determinant of their economic position in itself, specifically whether they are able to accumulate wealth. Inheritance practices of ethnic groups from the Ethnographic Atlas were used to reconstruct inheritance practices at the country level for c. 1920 and the World Bank’s 50 Years of Women's Legal Rights was used for data on the inheritance in 1960, 1980, and 2000

Author(s)

Sarah Carmichael, Selin Dilli and Auke Rijpma, Utrecht University

Production date

2 September 2014

Variable(s)

Gender equal inheritance

Keywords

Gender equality, institutions

Time period

c.1920–2000

Geographical coverage

Worldwide, selected countries

Methodologies used for data collection and processing

The data was extracted from the revised, electronic version of Murdock’s (1969) Ethnographic Atlas (EA). It is published by the World Cultures journal: and the raw data itself is available at . Bolt (2012) recoded all the ethnic group-level variables to the country level (see Carmichael and Rijpma (2014) for more details). If the majority of the population of a country practiced some form of inheritance that gave women a stronger position than patrilineal inheritance towards men did, it was coded as equal. This included matrilineal (sister’s sons and other matrilineal heirs) and bilateral (both schemes where daughters inherited completely equally or inherited less). This wide definition of gender-equal inheritance has been used because in 1920 patrilineal inheritance was still the norm. The data from Hallward-Driemeier, Hasan, and Rusu (2013) considers the de jure rights of daughters to inherit equally to sons

Period of collection

See references

Data collectors

Auke Rijpma


The data from the EA is generally considered sufficient for Africa, but coverage and the ethnographic bases for Eurasia and the Americas is patchy and significant flaws have been uncovered for other variables in the EA in these regions. See Carmichael and Rijpma (2014) for a test of the Murdock data. For the data quality from 1960 onwards, see Hallward-Driemeier, Hasan, and Rusu (2013)

General references

Bolt, J. (2012), “A New Database on the Origins of Institutional

Development”, University of Groningen working paper.

Carmichael, S. and A. Rijpma (2014), “Testing Todd: Global Data on

Family Characteristics”,

http://vkc.library.uu.nl/vkc/seh/Lists/Events/

Attachments/33/carmichaelrijpma_testing.pdf.

Deere, Carmen Diana, Abena D. Oduro, Hema Swaminathan, and Cheryl Doss.

2013. “Property Rights and the Gender Distribution of Wealth in

Ecuador, Ghana and India.” The Journal of Economic Inequality 11 (2):

249–65. doi:10.1007/s10888-013-9241-z.

Hallward-Driemeier, Mary, Tazeen Hasan, and Anca Bogdana Rusu. 2013.

“Women’s Legal Rights over 50 Years: Progress, Stagnation or

Regression?” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, no. 6616. c.

urdock, George Peter. 1969. Ethnographic Atlas. 2nd print. Pittsburg:

Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

Caribbean

Anguilla[No Data]

Antigua and Barbuda1500 (5)-2013 (21)

Aruba[No Data]

Bahamas1500 (5)-2013 (23)

Barbados1500 (5)-2013 (27)

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba[No Data]

British Virgin Islands[No Data]

Cayman Islands[No Data]

Cuba1500 (8)-2012 (34)

Curaçao[No Data]

Dominica1500 (5)-2013 (20)

Dominican Republic1500 (6)-2013 (40)

Grenada1500 (5)-2013 (21)

Guadeloupe[No Data]

Haiti1500 (6)-2013 (36)

Jamaica1500 (6)-2013 (38)

Martinique[No Data]

Montserrat[No Data]

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