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Family Investment Strategies in Pre-modern Societies: Human Capital, Migration, and Birth Order in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century England

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  • Marc Klemp

    ()
    (University of Copenhagen)

  • Chris Minns

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

  • Patrick Wallis

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

  • Jacob Weisdorf

    ()
    (University of Southern Denmark)

Abstract

This paper uses linked apprenticeship-family reconstitution records to explore the influence of family structure on human capital formation in preindustrial England. We observe a small but significant relationship between birth order,resources and human capital investments. Eldest sons were less likely to be apprenticed, particularly among farming families. Mortality shocks in the household led to significant delay in the timing of apprenticeship. We also find that many apprentices maintained contact with their home parish, returning to wed and establish a new household. The “middling sorts” that dominated apprenticeship behaved more like modern families than the pre-industrial elite.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Historical Economics Society (EHES) in its series Working Papers with number 0018.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0018

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  1. Gregory Clark & Gillian Hamilton, 2006. "Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England," Working Papers 615, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. Patrick Wallis & Cliff Webb & Chris Minns, 2009. "Leaving home and entering service: the age of apprenticeship in early modern London," Economic History Working Papers 27873, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  3. Sascha Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "The trade-off between fertility and education: evidence from before the demographic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 177-204, September.
  4. Tine De Moor & Jan Luiten Van Zanden, 2010. "Girl power: the European marriage pattern and labour markets in the North Sea region in the late medieval and early modern period -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(1), pages 1-33, 02.
  5. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Sharp, Paul & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2011. "Survival of the richest? Social status, fertility and social mobility in England 1541-1824," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 365-392, December.
  6. Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2011. "The Child Quantity-Quality Trade-Off During the Industrial Revolution in England," Discussion Papers 11-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  7. Tim Leunig & Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis, 2009. "Networks in the Premodern Economy: the Market for London Apprenticeships, 1600-1749," CEP Discussion Papers dp0956, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis, 2011. "Why did (pre‐industrial) firms train?: premiums and apprenticeship contracts in 18th century England," Economic History Working Papers 41348, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  9. Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis, 2012. "Rules and reality: quantifying the practice of apprenticeship in early modern England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 556-579, 05.
  10. Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis, 2009. "Rules and reality: quantifying the practice of apprenticeship in early modern Europe," Economic History Working Papers 27865, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
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