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How did the European marriage pattern persist? Social versus familial inheritance: England and Quebec, 1650–1850

Clark, Gregory, Cummins, Neil and Curtis, Matthew (2024) How did the European marriage pattern persist? Social versus familial inheritance: England and Quebec, 1650–1850. Economics and Human Biology, 54. ISSN 1570-677X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ehb.2024.101383

Abstract

The European Marriage Pattern (EMP), in place in NW Europe for perhaps 500 years, substantially limited fertility. But how could such limitation persist when some individuals who deviated from the EMP norm had more children? If their children inherited their deviant behaviors, their descendants would quickly become the majority of later generations. This puzzle has two possible solutions. The first is that all those that deviated actually had lower net fertility over multiple generations. We show, however, no fertility penalty to future generations from higher initial fertility. Instead the EMP survived because even though the EMP persisted at the social level, children did not inherit their parents’ individual fertility choices. In the paper we show evidence consistent with lateral, as opposed to vertical, transmission of EMP fertility behaviors.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/economics-an...
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N13 - Europe: Pre-1913
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N11 - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J12 - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 13:36
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 18:57
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/123433

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