Partner selection and social mobility. The impact of age, socioeconomic origin and place of birth on intergenerational social mobility in 19th century Sweden
This paper studies the relationship between partner selection and socioeconomic status (SES) attainment and mobility in five rural parishes in southern Sweden, 1815-1894. Three different aspects of partner selection are considered: age, social origin (father’s SES), and geographical origin. We use an individual level database containing information on the socioeconomic origin (parental land holding and occupation), age difference, and place of birth of the married couple, regardless of whether they were born in the parish or not. The data allows us to study partner selection and intergenerational SES mobility, without introducing selection biases by only studying the non-migrating population, which is of considerable importance in a society characterized by high levels of geographical mobility. Occupations are coded in HISCO and classified using a modified HISCLASS, where type of tenure and size of the farm are also included. The results show a powerful association between partner selection and SES attainment and mobility. Social heterogamy was particularly important, but age heterogamy and geographic exogamy was also clearly related to both SES attainment and mobility.
- Economic History
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