chapter  6
24 Pages

The deep causes of economic development

Family systems and female agency
BySelin Dilli

This chapter studies three paths that have received attention as the crucial drivers of economic development: fertility, human capital formation and political institutions. Mason highlights the importance of taking into account family institutions related to female agency for understanding the timing of the onset and rapidity of the fertility transition. First of all, improving institutions to promote female agency would help to improve women's position in fields such as labour force participation, human capital formation and political participation that are relevant for economic development. The World Bank highlights that 'reform of discriminatory laws, particularly in the realm of family, inheritance, and property law, is an important first step for advancing women's position'. Female agency is a multidimensional concept and in order to capture different dimensions, further historical data is required. It is also important to have an historical overview of the institutions that are related to gender equality.