DP11486 Land Inequality, Education, and Marriage: Empirical Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Prussia

Author(s): Francesco Cinnirella, Erik Hornung
Publication Date: September 2016
Keyword(s): education, Land Inequality, Marriage, Prussian Economic History
JEL(s): I25, J12, N33, O43, Q15
Programme Areas: Economic History
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11486

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 influenced 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.