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Cross-Status Marriage Patterns in Late 17th Century Korea: Statistical Analysis of the Tansŏng Household Registers for 1678


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  • Peterson, Mark A.
  • Phillips, Kerk L.


This paper presents preliminary results of statistical analysis of the Tansŏng County household registers for 1678. We focus on identifying the social class of county residents and on identifying marriages. We use a multivariate LOGIT model to estimate probabilities of marriage, both within and outside of one’s social class as functions of age. We find the overwhelming number of both males and females were monogamous; less than one percent of males taking secondary wives or “concubines”. We also find strong tendencies to marry within social status groups. Despite this there is significant intermarriage between social classes. This is primarily between commoners and non-resident slaves. Also males of the elite and petty elite classes, particularly older ones, marry commoners and slaves in significant numbers. We document significant differences in the marriage patterns for craftsmen, as opposed to other commoners. We find strong influences of father and mother’s status on marriage patterns, with higher status parents increasing the probability of marrying higher status spouses, all else equal. Finally, we find evidence of strong village-level effects on marriage patterns which cannot be explained by the observed characteristics of the people living in those villages.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 23554.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23554

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Keywords: marriage; social class; Korea; Chosŏn dynasty; statistical analysis;

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