Women and the 'Second Serfdom': Evidence from Bohemia

CES Working Paper at University of Munich No. 177

Posted: 9 Jun 1999

See all articles by Sheilagh Ogilvie

Sheilagh Ogilvie

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Jeremy Edwards

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics and Politics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: December 1998

Abstract

Women's ability to conduct independent households is a useful indicator of their economic position. This article investigates female headship in Bohemia (the Czech Republic) under strong feudal and communal institutions. Bohemian female headship was extremely low by Western European standards, declined significantly between 1591 and 1722, and was decreasingly affected by socio-economic influences. The article argues that this was linked to the growing power of landlords under the "second serfdom". Not only did landlords dissolve female-headed households as poor fiscal risks, but this economic rent was manipulated by village communities and other serfs for their own ends.

JEL Classification: J12, J16

Suggested Citation

Ogilvie, Sheilagh and Edwards, Jeremy, Women and the 'Second Serfdom': Evidence from Bohemia (December 1998). CES Working Paper at University of Munich No. 177. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=148480

Sheilagh Ogilvie (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Austin Robinson Building
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom
44-1223-335200 (Phone)
44-1223-335475 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/people/faculty/sco2

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Jeremy Edwards

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics and Politics ( email )

Austin Robinson Building
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom
++44 1223 335232 (Phone)
++44 1223 335475 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

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