Determination of the Dates of Passage of the Married Women's Property Acts and Earnings Acts

Posted: 17 May 2009

See all articles by Dean Lueck

Dean Lueck

Indiana University Bloomington - The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory & Policy Analysis; Indiana University

Sharon L. Tennyson

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM)

Rick Geddes

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM)

Date Written: May 15, 2009

Abstract

The purpose of this document is to analyze and record the dates of passage of state-level acts in the United States that granted married women the right to own and control property separate from their husbands, and the date of passage of acts granting married women the right to own their market earnings. The first of those rights was granted through what has been termed the married women's property acts (MWPAs), while the second was granted through earnings acts (EAs). These acts were passed in most states between 1848 and 1920, and have been credited with weakening the common law doctrine of coverture. The document carefully examines, and quotes, state-by-state, the laws granting married women those two types of property rights. It provides an explanation for each date chosen.

Keywords: Women's property rights, coverture, earnings acts

JEL Classification: J12, K, K11, K36

Suggested Citation

Lueck, Dean and Tennyson, Sharon L. and Geddes, Rick, Determination of the Dates of Passage of the Married Women's Property Acts and Earnings Acts (May 15, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1405355

Dean Lueck

Indiana University Bloomington - The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory & Policy Analysis ( email )

513 N. Park Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408–3895
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://ostromworkshop.indiana.edu/people/directors/lueck-dean.html

Indiana University ( email )

107 S Indiana Ave
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://economics.indiana.edu/home/people/lueck/

Sharon L. Tennyson

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

252 MVR Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-2619 (Phone)
607-255-4071 (Fax)

Rick Geddes (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis & Management (PAM) ( email )

120 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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