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Capital Women
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Capital Women: The European Marriage Pattern, Female Empowerment and Economic Development in Western Europe 1300-1800

Jan Luiten van Zanden, Sarah Carmichael, and Tine De Moor


This book argues that the position of women in late medieval and early modern Europe was relatively strong. This, van Zanden, De Moor, and Carmichael argue, is evident from the fact that marriage was usually based on consensus, implying that women had a clear say in their marriage. The authors analyze the medieval roots of this European Marriage Pattern, demonstrating that it was much stronger in northwestern Europe than in the Mediterranean. That women had considerable agency was one of the factors behind the rise of Europe in the centuries before the Industrial Revolution. This had huge cons ... More

Keywords: women, agency, institutions, economic development, early modern Europe, human capital formation, family system, beguine, financial history, household, European Marriage Pattern

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190847883
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190847883.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jan Luiten van Zanden, author
Professor of Global Economic History, University of Utrecht

Sarah Carmichael, author
Assistant Professor, University of Utrecht

Tine De Moor, author
Professor of Institutions for Collective Action, University of Utrecht