A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics
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A Research Agenda for New Institutional Economics

Edited by Claude Ménard and Mary M. Shirley

Consisting of 30 concise chapters written by top scholars, this Research Agenda probes the knowledge frontiers of issues long at the forefront of New Institutional Economics (NIE), including government, contracts and property rights. It examines pressing research questions surrounding norms, culture, and beliefs. It is designed to inform and inspire students and those starting their careers in economics, law and political science. Well-established scholars will also find the book invaluable in updating their understanding of crucial research questions and seeking new areas to explore.
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Chapter 21: Family and gender: questions for the New Institutional Economics

Raquel Fernández


This chapter discusses the large variety of research questions that would benefit from a New Institutional Perspective (NIE) perspective in the area of family and gender. Although the family – the most basic of social organizations – and the role of women have undergone huge transformations over time, for the most part researchers in the NIE tradition have been silent as to why this has happened and how to explain the cross-country variation we observe. The issues, ranging from the evolution of divorce laws to suffrage extensions to the change in female labor participation and social beliefs about women, are important and would benefit greatly from an approach grounded in history, anthropology, and sociology in addition to economics

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