International Society for Quantitative History

QH Webinar Series

Marrying for Money: Evidence from the First Wave of Married Women's Property Laws in the U.S.

16:00 | Thursday, October 29, 2020

Zoom Webinar

English

Peter Koudijs

Peter Koudijs

Associate Professor of Finance, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Roundhere44 talk / Public domain

Marriage can substitute for formal business contracts, especially in environments that lack a well established system of contract or corporate law. In such settings, marriage can facilitate the efficient organization of labor and capital. Peter Koudijs and his coauthor explore the pooling of capital as an explicit motive for marriage. They measure the impact of a class of married women’s property acts introduced in the American South during the 1840s on assortative matching in the marriage market. These laws did not grant married women autonomy over their separate estate; they merely shielded their property from seizure by their husbands’ creditors. This had the dual effect of mitigating downside risk while restricting a husband’s ability to borrow against his wife’s property; it also preserved the bulk of the wife’s assets as inheritance for the couple’s children. Using a compiled database of linked marriage and census records, they show that these laws were associated with an overall increase in assortative mating, suggesting that the ability to pool capital importantly contributed to the gains from marriage. At the same time, there is considerable heterogeneity in the effect in different regions of the joint men’s and women’s wealth distribution. In this Quantitative History Webinar, Peter will explain in detail their interpretation for these results.

Live on Zoom on October 29, 2020
16:00 Hong Kong/Beijing/Singapore
08:00 London | 09:00 Amsterdam | 17:00 Tokyo | 19:00 Sydney

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Zoom Webinar

Peter Koudijs

English

The Quantitative History Webinar Series aims to provide researchers, teachers, and students with an online intellectual platform to keep up to date with the latest research in the field, promoting the dissemination of research findings and interdisciplinary use of quantitative methods in historical research. The Series, now in its third year, is co-organized by the International Society for Quantitative History, HKU Business School, and Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 量化歷史網上講座系列由香港大學陳志武和馬馳騁教授聯合發起,旨在介紹前沿量化歷史研究成果、促進同仁交流,推廣量化方法在歷史研究中的應用。本系列講座由國際量化歷史學會、香港大學經管學院和香港人文社會研究所全力支持和承辦。

Conveners: Professor Zhiwu Chen & Dr. Chicheng Ma (HKU Business School)

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