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Assortive mating and the industrial revolution: England, 1754-2021

Cummins, Neil and Clark, Gregory (2022) Assortive mating and the industrial revolution: England, 1754-2021. Economic History Working Papers (337). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Using a new database of 1.7 million marriage records for England 1837-2021 we estimate assortment by occupational status in marriage, and the intergenerational correlation of occupational status. We find the underlying correlations of status groom-bride, and father-son, are remarkably high: 0.8 and 0.9 respectively. These correlations are unchanged 1837-2021. There is evidence this strong matching extends back to at least 1754. Even before formal education and occupations for women, grooms and brides matched tightly on educational and occupational abilities. We show further that women contributed as much as men to important child outcomes. This implies strong marital sorting substantially increased the variance of social abilities in England. Pre-industrial marital systems typically involved much less marital sorting. Thus the development of assortative marriage may play a role in the location and timing of the Industrial Revolution, through its effect on the supply of those with upper-tail abilities.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: https://www.lse.ac.uk/Economic-History/Working-Pap...
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 11:15
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 11:15
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/115008

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