Spatial Variation in Household Structure in 19th and Early 20th Century Germany

Mikolaj Szoltysek, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Joshua R. Goldstein, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Sigfried Grueber, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Sebastian Kluesener, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

In the center of continental Europe, ranging from East to West and North to South, Germany includes many of the cultural, economic, and religious variations found across Europe. In this study, we take advantage of the great internal heterogeneity of 19th century Germany to gain a better understanding of the patterns and causes of household structure variation. Using aggregate data at scales ranging from the province to the Kreis, we document the contours, gradients, and variability of family structure using measures of household complexity and entry into marriage. We plan to focus on four interrelated questions: (1) Are family structure and marriage patterns consistent with the hypothesized East-West distinction put forth by Hajnal? (2) Is the pattern of land-ownership and agricultural organization an important organizing principle of household and family structure? (3) Are patterns consistent with the agricultural development hypothesis? (4) Are patterns consistent with inheritance patterns?

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Presented in Session 108: Household Structure and Intergenerational Relationships in Historical and Comparative Perspective