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Readings
Land Inequality, Education, and Marriage: Empirical Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Prussia

Land Inequality, Education, and Marriage: Empirical Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Prussia

Francesco Cinnirella, Erik Hornung

In this study we review the literature on the relationship between landownership inequality and the accumulation of human capital in historical perspective. Furthermore we provide new evidence on the relationship between landownership inequality and marriage patterns at the county level in nineteenth-century Prussia. Formally the landed elite could have inuenced not only the labor relations with the peasants but also their marriage decisions. Using cross-sectional as well as panel analysis we find no evidence that noble landowners directly affected marriage rates. Instead we find a robust negative association between average formal education and the share of married women. This finding is in line with recent theoretical and empirical literature on the role of gender specific human capital in the demographic transition.

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The hand-loom weaver and the power loom: a Schumpeterian perspective

The hand-loom weaver and the power loom: a Schumpeterian perspective

Robert C. Allen

Schumpeter’s ‘perennial gale of creative destruction’ blew strongly through Britain during the Industrial Revolution, as the factory mode of production displaced the cottage mode in many industries. A famous example is the shift from hand loom weaving to the use of power looms in mills. As the use of power looms expanded, the price of cloth fell, and the ‘golden age of the hand loom weaver’ gave way to poverty and unemployment. This paper argues that the fates of the hand and machine processes were even more closely interwoven. 

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Causes and Consequences of the Protestant Reformation

Causes and Consequences of the Protestant Reformation

Sascha Becker, Steven Pfaff, Jared Rubin

The Protestant Reformation is one of the defining events of the last millennium. Nearly 500 years after the Reformation, its causes and consequences have seen a renewed interest in the social sciences. Research in economics, sociology, and political science increasingly uses detailed individual-level, city-level, and regional-level data to identify drivers of the adoption of the Reformation, its diffusion pattern, and its socioeconomic consequences. We take stock of this research, pointing out what we know and what we do not know and suggesting the most promising areas for future research.

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