Community Characteristics and Demographic Development: Three Württemberg Communities, 1558 - 1914
Demographic behaviour is influenced not just by attributes of individuals but also by characteristics of the communities in which those individuals live. A project on ‘Economy, Gender, and Social Capital in the German Demographic Transition’ is analyzing the longterm determinants of fertility by carrying out family reconstitutions of three Württemberg communities (Auingen, Ebhausen, and Wildberg) between c. 1558 and 1914. A related project on ‘Human Well-Being and the “Industrious Revolution”: Consumption, Gender and Social Capital in a German Developing Economy, 1600-1900’ is using marriage and death inventories to investigate how consumption interacted with production and demographic behaviour in two of these communities. This paper examines the historical, political, institutional, geographical, and economic attributes of the communities analyzed in these projects and discusses their potential effects. The aim is to generate testable hypotheses and relevant independent variables for subsequent econometric analyses of demographic behaviour.
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