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Health and socio-demographic conditions as determinants of marriage and social mobility

Author

Listed:
  • Marco Breschi

    (Università degli Studi di Sassari (UniSS))

  • Matteo Manfredini

    (Università degli Studi di Parma (UNIPR))

  • Stanislao Mazzoni

    (Università degli Studi di Sassari (UniSS))

Abstract

This paper makes use of data collected from military registers and marriage certificates for the population of Alghero, in Sardinia, for the period 1866-1925, with the aim of investigating the role played by physical characteristics and health in the possibility of social mobility through marriage. Our findings demonstrate that, whereas physical defects and ill health had little impact on the chances of marrying an illiterate woman, these factors did have a negative effect on the chances of marrying a woman who was literate. In a context in which intergenerational social mobility remained limited and the family had the final say on marriage arrangements, it is likely that only healthy individuals were selected for marriages regarded as strategic for the purposes of forming and strengthening family alliances, and/or improving the social position within the community.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Breschi & Matteo Manfredini & Stanislao Mazzoni, 2010. "Health and socio-demographic conditions as determinants of marriage and social mobility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(33), pages 1037-1056, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:22:y:2010:i:33
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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol22/33/22-33.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Arcaleni, Emilia, 2006. "Secular trend and regional differences in the stature of Italians, 1854-1980," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 24-38, January.
    2. Richard H. Steckel, 2001. "Health and Nutrition in the Preindustrial Era: Insights from a Millennium of Average Heights in Northern Europe," NBER Working Papers 8542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; marriage; Sardinia; social mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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