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Gender equality, growth, and how a technological trap destroyed female work

Humphries, Jane and Schneider, Benjamin (2021) Gender equality, growth, and how a technological trap destroyed female work. Economic History of Developing Regions, 36 (3). 428 - 438. ISSN 2078-0389

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Identification Number: 10.1080/20780389.2021.1929606

Abstract

Development economists have long studied the relationship between gender equality and economic growth. More recently, economic historians have taken an overdue interest. We sketch the pathways within the development literature that have been hypothesized as linking equality for women to rising incomes, and the reverse channels–from higher incomes to equality. We describe how the European Marriage Pattern literature applies these mechanisms, and we highlight problems with the claimed link between equality and growth. We then explain how a crucial example of technological unemployment for women–the destruction of hand spinning during the British Industrial Revolution–contributed to the emergence of the male breadwinner family. We show how this family structure created household relationships that play into the development pathways, and outline its persistent effects into the twenty-first century.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J12 - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J63 - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N33 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: Pre-1913
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O14 - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2023 17:00
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2024 04:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/118295

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