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Female farming. Persistence and economic performance of Swedish widows from 1730-1860

Lundh Nilsson, Fay LU and Olsson, Mats LU (2012) In The History of the Family 17(2). p.125-141
Abstract
This article examines the economic consequences of widowhood and the possibility of maintaining female-managed farms in a predominantly male world. A unique dataset is exploited to investigate the productivity of female-headed households in preindustrial Sweden. The main source material is tithe payment rolls maintained by parish priests, which reflect fluctuations and long-term trends in the annual economic output of more than 2,000 individual farms. No evidence was found that farm management conducted by widows was dissolved by male relatives or neighbours. Farm management by widows was in many cases a temporary arrangement, especially on manorial land, where landlords did not accept female farmers. But among freeholders and crown... (More)
This article examines the economic consequences of widowhood and the possibility of maintaining female-managed farms in a predominantly male world. A unique dataset is exploited to investigate the productivity of female-headed households in preindustrial Sweden. The main source material is tithe payment rolls maintained by parish priests, which reflect fluctuations and long-term trends in the annual economic output of more than 2,000 individual farms. No evidence was found that farm management conducted by widows was dissolved by male relatives or neighbours. Farm management by widows was in many cases a temporary arrangement, especially on manorial land, where landlords did not accept female farmers. But among freeholders and crown tenants, widows often refrained from remarriage and continued as farm heads. As for production, farms managed by widows performed slightly better than farms managed by men during the first few years after a takeover. This result levelled out over time and farms managed by long-term widows show production results almost equal to farms run by men. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
widows, farm production, tenants, freeholders, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Sweden
in
The History of the Family
volume
17
issue
2
pages
125 - 141
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000309285100002
  • scopus:84874322632
ISSN
1873-5398
DOI
10.1080/1081602X.2012.669119
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
59b5bb76-fc65-49e7-909e-0aba0bd26dd4 (old id 2275921)
date added to LUP
2012-01-05 10:11:20
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:14:28
@article{59b5bb76-fc65-49e7-909e-0aba0bd26dd4,
  abstract     = {This article examines the economic consequences of widowhood and the possibility of maintaining female-managed farms in a predominantly male world. A unique dataset is exploited to investigate the productivity of female-headed households in preindustrial Sweden. The main source material is tithe payment rolls maintained by parish priests, which reflect fluctuations and long-term trends in the annual economic output of more than 2,000 individual farms. No evidence was found that farm management conducted by widows was dissolved by male relatives or neighbours. Farm management by widows was in many cases a temporary arrangement, especially on manorial land, where landlords did not accept female farmers. But among freeholders and crown tenants, widows often refrained from remarriage and continued as farm heads. As for production, farms managed by widows performed slightly better than farms managed by men during the first few years after a takeover. This result levelled out over time and farms managed by long-term widows show production results almost equal to farms run by men.},
  author       = {Lundh Nilsson, Fay and Olsson, Mats},
  issn         = {1873-5398},
  keyword      = {widows,farm production,tenants,freeholders,seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {125--141},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {The History of the Family},
  title        = {Female farming. Persistence and economic performance of Swedish widows from 1730-1860},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1081602X.2012.669119},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2012},
}