Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 506698
Title Marriages are Made in Kitchens : The European Marriage Pattern and Life-Cycle Servanthood in Eighteenth-Century Amsterdam
Author(s) Boter, Corinne
Source Feminist Economics 23 (2017)2. - ISSN 1354-5701 - p. 68 - 92.
Department(s) Rural and Environmental History
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2017
Keyword(s) domestic servants - eighteenth-century Amsterdam - European Marriage Pattern - life-cycle servanthood - living standards - women’s wages
Abstract Due to methodological difficulties of historical research on women’s labor, little is known of women’s contribution to household incomes in preindustrial economies. This article is the first to use domestic servants’ wages, as documented in account books from the period 1752–1805, to estimate the capital that women could accumulate during their years of service before marriage. As such, it offers a new perspective on women’s contribution to household resources. Results show that servants working for the most well-off households in eighteenth-century Amsterdam could save a marriage budget that was between one-third and half of the capital that an unskilled man could save in the same amount of time. Furthermore, servants’ wages would in theory have been sufficient to support a family of four at the subsistence level, illustrating that women’s wages and potential savings cannot be ignored.
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