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Capital WomenThe European Marriage Pattern, Female Empowerment and Economic Development in Western Europe 1300-1800$
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Jan Luiten van Zanden, Sarah Carmichael, and Tine De Moor

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190847883

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190847883.001.0001

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The Institutional Effect

The Institutional Effect

Alternatives for Family Ties, the Role of Trust, and the Emergence of the Commercial Household

(p.159) 7 The Institutional Effect
Capital Women

Jan Luiten

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses several issues, all with the underlying intention of refining and reorienting the nuclear-hardship debate. There is a need for such reorientation, as several indicators show that the long-term outcome of this process toward a society built upon nuclear households has not led to more hardship; quite the contrary. Nor would it be fair to claim that this outcome has to be entirely due to top-down provisions, and then in particular, to charity. In this chapter the authors stress the institutional diversity of the solutions for hardship and focus on one particular group in society, namely the elderly. They demonstrate that the elderly had more “agency” than is usually expected and that a combination of institutional arrangements in addition to the top-down provisions granted the elderly more options to deal with the supposed hardship of growing old in a nuclear family structure.

Keywords:   commercialization, care arrangement, servanthood, institutions, nuclear family, extended family

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