Child Auctions in Nineteenth Century Sweden: An Analysis of Price Differences
During the nineteenth century, destitute and/or orphan Swedish children were boarded out as a part of that time's public assistance. The families to which they were allocated were determined by means of English auctions. This paper studies the price differences among such children using empirical data from 601 auctions. Price is regressed on variables related both to the buyer and to the child. The results suggest that variables related to the children's characteristics were important and that the willingness to take a poor or orphan child was dependent on the foster parents' uses for a child in the household.
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