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Leaving Home in a Peasant Society. Economic Fluctuations, Household Dynamics and Youth Migration in Southern Sweden, 1829-1866.

Dribe, Martin LU (2000) In Lund Studies in Economic History 13.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen behandlar barns flyttningar hemifrån i det förindustriella bondesamhället. Utöver att studera när barn lämnade hemmet kopplas också flyttningsprocessen till den förindustriella hushållsekonomins funktionssätt. Analysen görs på ett longitudinellt material för ett område i västra Skåne under perioden 1829-1866. Individerna följs från födseln, eller från det att de flyttar in till området, tills de dör eller flyttar ut. I avhandlingen betonas vikten av en multivariat analys, i vilken betydelsen av flera centrala variabler för beslutet att flytta hemifrån tas i beaktande samtidigt, i stället för att, som i flera tidigare studier, endast analysera en bestämningsfaktor åt gången.... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen behandlar barns flyttningar hemifrån i det förindustriella bondesamhället. Utöver att studera när barn lämnade hemmet kopplas också flyttningsprocessen till den förindustriella hushållsekonomins funktionssätt. Analysen görs på ett longitudinellt material för ett område i västra Skåne under perioden 1829-1866. Individerna följs från födseln, eller från det att de flyttar in till området, tills de dör eller flyttar ut. I avhandlingen betonas vikten av en multivariat analys, i vilken betydelsen av flera centrala variabler för beslutet att flytta hemifrån tas i beaktande samtidigt, i stället för att, som i flera tidigare studier, endast analysera en bestämningsfaktor åt gången. Resultaten av analysen visar att hushållssituationen spelade en avgörande roll för beslutet att flytta hemifrån. Faktorer som efterfrågan och utbud av arbetskraft i hushållet, familjens beroendesituation och individens position i hushållet var viktiga i att bestämma när ett barn flyttade hemifrån. Barn till jordägande bönder stannade exempelvis hemma betydligt längre än barn till jordlösa, vilket visar på betydelsen av efterfrågan på arbetskraft i det egna hushållet för flyttningen hemifrån. En betydande del av avhandlingen ägnas också åt kopplingen mellan ekonomiska fluktuationer å ena sidan och hushållets situation och barns flyttning hemifrån å den andra. Genom att använda indikatorer på lokala spannmålspriser och skördeutfall kan effekterna av de ekonomiska fluktuationerna i samhället på de enskilda hushållen och individerna studeras. Resultaten visar att de marknadsproducerande bönderna lät sina söner stanna hemma längre i dåliga tider, vilket kan ha varit ett sätt att spara på inhyrd arbetskraft. På ett liknande sätt lät också de bondegrupper som betalade arbetsränta åt godsägaren sina barn stanna hemma längre i tider av goda skördar då efterfrågan på arbetskraft var relativt hög. De obesuttna grupperna, å andra sidan, hade mycket små möjligheter att utnyttja sina barns flyttning hemifrån på ett liknande sätt i sin strategiska hantering av osäkerhet. Det förklaras av att deras barn även i normala tider flyttade hemifrån så fort de kunde få tjänst i ett annat hushåll (vanligen mellan 15-17 år) p g a den låga eller obefintliga efterfrågan på arbetskraft i dessa hushåll. För alla barn utom yngre pojkar verkar också beslutet att flytta hemifrån ha påverkats av någon förälders död. I de flesta fall innebar en sådan händelse att barnen lämnade hemmet tidigare. Det enda undantaget är äldre döttrar med endast yngre syskon närvarande i hushållet, vilka stannade hemma längre i synnerhet efter moderns död, vilket kan ses som en indikation på att deras tjänster efterfrågades i högre grad under dessa omständigheter. Sammanfattningsvis, betonar denna studie betydelsen av såväl barns flyttningar hemifrån för förståelsen av den förindustriella hushållsekoniomis funktionssätt, som den betydelsefulla roll som hushållet och familjen spelade för beslutet att flytta hemifrån. (Less)
Abstract
This study deals with the process of children leaving home and its interactions with the household economy in preindustrial society. A theoretical model of leaving home is outlined and then analyzed multivariately, using a longitudinal micro-level dataset for a sample of parishes in western Scania, Sweden, for the period 1829-1866. In a first introductory part the social and economic background as well as the household and family system of the time is analyzed, showing the highly different character of the household, depending on access to land and the type of land farmed. While peasant households functioned both as production and consumption units to a very high extent, landless and semi-landless households mostly worked only as... (More)
This study deals with the process of children leaving home and its interactions with the household economy in preindustrial society. A theoretical model of leaving home is outlined and then analyzed multivariately, using a longitudinal micro-level dataset for a sample of parishes in western Scania, Sweden, for the period 1829-1866. In a first introductory part the social and economic background as well as the household and family system of the time is analyzed, showing the highly different character of the household, depending on access to land and the type of land farmed. While peasant households functioned both as production and consumption units to a very high extent, landless and semi-landless households mostly worked only as consumption units. The empirical analysis of the age at leaving home for the first time, using event-history analysis, indicates that the household context regarding demand for household labor, the level of family dependency and the individual’s position within the household played important roles in explaining differences between children in the age at leaving home for the first time. Children of landed peasants left home considerably later than children in semi-landless and landless families, which points to the important role played by the family’s productive resources in the demand for household labor and the decision to leave home. First-born children left home later than children of higher birth order, and children in households with more servants stayed at home longer, which shows the role played by the servant institution in complementing family labor in household production. Using new series of local harvest yields and grain prices, the effect of short-term economic fluctuations on the timing of leaving home is also analyzed. The general picture that emerges from the analysis is one of great variety, depending on age and sex of the child as well as social status and position in the household. In times of unfavorable market conditions (low prices) more well-to-do peasants seem to have economized on hired labor by keeping particularly their younger sons at home longer. In the landless and semi-landless groups the leaving home response to economic fluctuations generally appears to have been much weaker than for peasants, which is explained by the more compressed and structurally determined leaving home process in these groups. A very large majority of landless and semi-landless children left home around the age of 16, which, together with a rather low demand for younger servants, gave much less opportunity for these families to use leaving home as a strategy of consumption smoothing in times of economic stress. All children, except younger boys, also seem to have been affected by the death of one of their parents. For most children the effect of parental death was disruptive, making children leave the household prematurely. In conclusion, this study underlines both the important role played by the leaving home process in understanding the functioning of the preindustrial household economy, and the highly important role played by the household and family in determining leaving home for individual children. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Professor Ferrie, Joseph P.
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Social and economic history, historical demography, economic stress, migration, family strategy, longitudinal analysis, leaving home, event-history analysis, Ekonomisk och social historia
in
Lund Studies in Economic History
volume
13
pages
237 pages
publisher
Almqvist & Wiksell International
defense location
Ekonomicentrum, Lund
defense date
2000-05-27 10:00
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN: LUSADG/SAEH--2000/1056--SE
ISSN
1400-4860
ISBN
9122-01878-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d7aa19af-f8a8-48c9-a1e6-b3fc6b4232f2 (old id 19689)
date added to LUP
2007-05-25 11:08:09
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:54
@phdthesis{d7aa19af-f8a8-48c9-a1e6-b3fc6b4232f2,
  abstract     = {This study deals with the process of children leaving home and its interactions with the household economy in preindustrial society. A theoretical model of leaving home is outlined and then analyzed multivariately, using a longitudinal micro-level dataset for a sample of parishes in western Scania, Sweden, for the period 1829-1866. In a first introductory part the social and economic background as well as the household and family system of the time is analyzed, showing the highly different character of the household, depending on access to land and the type of land farmed. While peasant households functioned both as production and consumption units to a very high extent, landless and semi-landless households mostly worked only as consumption units. The empirical analysis of the age at leaving home for the first time, using event-history analysis, indicates that the household context regarding demand for household labor, the level of family dependency and the individual’s position within the household played important roles in explaining differences between children in the age at leaving home for the first time. Children of landed peasants left home considerably later than children in semi-landless and landless families, which points to the important role played by the family’s productive resources in the demand for household labor and the decision to leave home. First-born children left home later than children of higher birth order, and children in households with more servants stayed at home longer, which shows the role played by the servant institution in complementing family labor in household production. Using new series of local harvest yields and grain prices, the effect of short-term economic fluctuations on the timing of leaving home is also analyzed. The general picture that emerges from the analysis is one of great variety, depending on age and sex of the child as well as social status and position in the household. In times of unfavorable market conditions (low prices) more well-to-do peasants seem to have economized on hired labor by keeping particularly their younger sons at home longer. In the landless and semi-landless groups the leaving home response to economic fluctuations generally appears to have been much weaker than for peasants, which is explained by the more compressed and structurally determined leaving home process in these groups. A very large majority of landless and semi-landless children left home around the age of 16, which, together with a rather low demand for younger servants, gave much less opportunity for these families to use leaving home as a strategy of consumption smoothing in times of economic stress. All children, except younger boys, also seem to have been affected by the death of one of their parents. For most children the effect of parental death was disruptive, making children leave the household prematurely. In conclusion, this study underlines both the important role played by the leaving home process in understanding the functioning of the preindustrial household economy, and the highly important role played by the household and family in determining leaving home for individual children.},
  author       = {Dribe, Martin},
  isbn         = {9122-01878-6},
  issn         = {1400-4860},
  keyword      = {Social and economic history,historical demography,economic stress,migration,family strategy,longitudinal analysis,leaving home,event-history analysis,Ekonomisk och social historia},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {237},
  publisher    = {Almqvist & Wiksell International},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Studies in Economic History},
  title        = {Leaving Home in a Peasant Society. Economic Fluctuations, Household Dynamics and Youth Migration in Southern Sweden, 1829-1866.},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2000},
}