**In _Macroeconomic Dynamics_**. This paper examines how the degree of gender-egalitarianism embedded in inheritance rules impacts state building. Male-biased inheritance rules historically maximise the likelihood of dynastic continuity. However, there is more land merging under gender-egalitarian rules. We compare both types of inheritance rules, concluding that, contrary to the literature, gender-egalitarian norms promote state capacity in the short run more than gender-biased norms. In the long run results are reversed.