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Living Arrangements and the Elderly: An Analysis of Old-Age Mortality by Household Structure in Casalguidi, 1819–1859

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  • Matteo Manfredini

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  • Marco Breschi

Abstract

The elevated levels of protection, assistance, and care enjoyed by the elderly living in complex households has long been a key assumption of many family system theories. However, although this hypothesis has been demonstrated for contemporary contexts, quantitative evidence for past populations is particularly scarce, if not nonexistent. This article investigates the relationship between old-age mortality and living arrangements in a mid–nineteenth century Tuscan population, where the joint family system of sharecroppers coexisted alongside the nuclear system of day laborers. Our findings demonstrate that within complex households, the complexity of relationships, gender inequalities, and possible competition for care and resources among the most vulnerable household members—namely, the elderly and the young—weakens the assumption that the elderly benefitted from lower rates of old-age mortality. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

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  • Matteo Manfredini & Marco Breschi, 2013. "Living Arrangements and the Elderly: An Analysis of Old-Age Mortality by Household Structure in Casalguidi, 1819–1859," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(5), pages 1593-1613, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:5:p:1593-1613
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-013-0218-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth Manton & Eric Stallard & James Vaupel, 1981. "Methods For Comparing The Mortality Experience of Heterogeneous Populations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(3), pages 389-410, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anita Boele & Tine de Moor, 2018. "‘Because family and friends got easily weary of taking care’: a new perspective on the specialization in the elderly care sector in early modern Holland," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 71(2), pages 437-463, May.
    2. Mikołaj Szołtysek & Bartosz Ogórek & Radosław Poniat & Siegfried Gruber, 2020. "Making a Place for Space: A Demographic Spatial Perspective on Living Arrangements Among the Elderly in Historical Europe," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 36(1), pages 85-117, March.
    3. Curtis Huffman & Ricardo Regules-García & Delfino Vargas Chanes, 2019. "Living arrangement dynamics of older adults in Mexico: Latent class analysis in an accelerated longitudinal design," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 41(50), pages 1401-1436.

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