A Two-Tiered Demographic System: "Insiders" and "outsiders" in Three Swabian Communities, 1558-1914

This paper presents first results from a project to reconstitute the demographic behavior of three villages in Württemberg (southern Germany) from the mid-sixteenth to the early twentieth century. Using high-quality registers of births, deaths, and marriages, and unusual ancillary sources, we improve on the family-reconstitution techniques pioneered by Louis Henry and applied to good effect by the Cambridge Group and other scholars. This paper focuses on simple, standard demographic measures, in order to provide a broad overview and support comparisons with other places. An extreme system of demographic regulation operated in these Württemberg communities until around 1870. This regulation created a two-tiered demographic system. A group of “insiders” were able to marry, and experienced both high marital fertility and high infant and child mortality. A second group, of “outsiders”, were prevented from marrying. Many, especially the males, left the community; those who stayed contributed to growing illegitimacy and associated levels of infant and child mortality that were even higher than for the offspring of “insiders”.

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Working or Discussion Paper
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JEL Codes:
N33; J12; J13; K0; O17
Series Statement:
Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-22

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