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Inequality and demographic response to short-term economic stress in North Orkney, Scotland, 1855-1910 : Sector differences

Jennings, Julia; Quaranta, Luciana LU and Bengtsson, Tommy LU (2017) In Population Studies 71(3). p.313-328
Abstract
We examine economic inequality and social differences in infant and child mortality, and fertility responses to food price changes in North Orkney, 1855–1910, using linked vital records. This small population featured a diverse occupational structure, limited land resources, and geographic isolation from mainland Scotland. Segments of Orkney’s non-agricultural working population were living so close to the margin of subsistence in normal years that an increase in food prices in bad years cost the lives of their children. Delayed childbearing, in addition to increased labour intensity, occupational diversification, and poor relief, failed to mitigate the negative effects of unfavourable prices in this group. While previous studies for... (More)
We examine economic inequality and social differences in infant and child mortality, and fertility responses to food price changes in North Orkney, 1855–1910, using linked vital records. This small population featured a diverse occupational structure, limited land resources, and geographic isolation from mainland Scotland. Segments of Orkney’s non-agricultural working population were living so close to the margin of subsistence in normal years that an increase in food prices in bad years cost the lives of their children. Delayed childbearing, in addition to increased labour intensity, occupational diversification, and poor relief, failed to mitigate the negative effects of unfavourable prices in this group. While previous studies for Western Europe show a strong social gradient in mortality responses to food prices, and for Eastern Asia a strong household gradient, this study shows a strong sectoral gradient, indicating low standards of living for the non-agricultural working population well into the twentieth century. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
infant mortality, child mortality, fertility, occupation, event-history analysis, staple grain prices, Scotland
in
Population Studies
volume
71
issue
3
pages
313 - 328
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • scopus:85028759189
  • wos:000416963400004
ISSN
1477-4747
DOI
10.1080/00324728.2017.1346196
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9342e294-dc25-4b08-9b49-aa3b5ca55d19
date added to LUP
2017-09-14 13:32:12
date last changed
2018-02-19 01:28:02
@article{9342e294-dc25-4b08-9b49-aa3b5ca55d19,
  abstract     = {We examine economic inequality and social differences in infant and child mortality, and fertility responses to food price changes in North Orkney, 1855–1910, using linked vital records. This small population featured a diverse occupational structure, limited land resources, and geographic isolation from mainland Scotland. Segments of Orkney’s non-agricultural working population were living so close to the margin of subsistence in normal years that an increase in food prices in bad years cost the lives of their children. Delayed childbearing, in addition to increased labour intensity, occupational diversification, and poor relief, failed to mitigate the negative effects of unfavourable prices in this group. While previous studies for Western Europe show a strong social gradient in mortality responses to food prices, and for Eastern Asia a strong household gradient, this study shows a strong sectoral gradient, indicating low standards of living for the non-agricultural working population well into the twentieth century.},
  author       = {Jennings, Julia and Quaranta, Luciana and Bengtsson, Tommy},
  issn         = {1477-4747},
  keyword      = {infant mortality,child mortality,fertility,occupation,event-history analysis,staple grain prices,Scotland},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {313--328},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Population Studies},
  title        = {Inequality and demographic response to short-term economic stress in North Orkney, Scotland, 1855-1910 : Sector differences},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00324728.2017.1346196},
  volume       = {71},
  year         = {2017},
}