How did women count? A note on gender specific age heaping differences in the 16th-19th century

P. Foldvari, J van Leeuwen-Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The role of human capital in economic growth is now largely uncontested. One indicator of human capital frequently used for the pre-1900 period is age heaping, which has been increasingly used to measure gender-specific differences. In this note, we find that in some historical samples, married women heap significantly less than unmarried women. This is still true after correcting for possible selection effects. A possible explanation is that a percentage of women adapted their ages to that of their husbands, hence biasing the Whipple index. We find the same effect to a lesser extent for men. Since this bias differs over time and across countries, a consistent comparison of female age heaping should be made by focusing on unmarried women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-313
Number of pages10
JournalEconomic History Review
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Specialized histories (international relations, law)
  • Literary theory, analysis and criticism
  • Culturele activiteiten
  • Overig maatschappelijk onderzoek

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