The study of single people in the past has witnessed increased attention in recent years. The two key features of the European Marriage Pattern - late marriages and high celibacy rates - resulted in large numbers of singles in early modern society. In recent research the high incidence of singles has been linked to the specific demographic and economic development that Europe went through since the Middle Ages. The goal of the session is to bring together scholars interested in any aspect of the role of singles in economic development and, conversely, the role of economic development on both the amount and share of singles in a society, and on the ways in which singles coped with economic and social change. Topics include (but are not limited to) the study of the socio-economic background of singles and the decision (or likelihood) to become one, as well as their influence on society, e.g. in terms of limiting the rates of fertility and population pressure, but also their influence on the development of new institutions (e.g. for old-age security), their role in changing investment patterns in human capital and in changes in labour markets, as well as their social and cultural status and material living arrangements.
Scholars interested in presenting their work on the session should write an e-mail, including a one-page abstract and a short cv (in PDF format), to Jacob Weisdorf (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 1 June 2013.
Julie De Groot (University of Antwerp)
Ariadne Schmidt (Leiden University)
Jacob Weisdorf (University of Southern Denmark - Utrecht University)
Department of Business and Economics
University of Southern Denmark
Marie Curie Fellow
Department of Economic and Social History University of Utrecht
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