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On the role of families and kinship networks in pre-industrial agricultural societies: An analysis of the 1698 Slavonian census

Abstract.

This paper uses the 1698 Slavonian census to illuminate features of social organization and productive activity of an eastern European population under the New Feudalism of the 17th century. In particular we investigate the ability of community or kinship networks to provide substitutes for missing markets in securities and production factors. It is found that kinship networks increase the efficiency of agricultural production by facilitating the exchange of oxen. This confirms contemporary reports that draft animals were the critical constraint to the expansion of agricultural output. We also find that kinship networks fail to reduce the variability of output through mutual harvest insurance.

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Received: 03 November 1998/Accepted: 16 June 1999

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Kohler, HP., Hammel, E. On the role of families and kinship networks in pre-industrial agricultural societies: An analysis of the 1698 Slavonian census. J Popul Econ 14, 21–49 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001480050158

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s001480050158

  • JEL classification: D1
  • D8
  • N3
  • Key words: Kinship networks
  • pre-industrial societies
  • missing markets