Coping and Caring: Institutionalised Vulnerability and Resilience of Families under Economic Pressure during Modernisation
My PhD project here in Halle focuses on demographic responses to short-term economic stress. Through analyses of mortality and fertility patterns under economic stress, the role of institutions in different transcultural contexts will be examined.
Generally speaking, population growth and living standards are of high interest for policy makers. In order to apply best practice policies, it is important to understand how mortality and fertility systems work, when and why they change, and how they might be directed towards a certain path. The historical analysis of changes is one way to yield such insights.
In order to better understand the institutional logic underlying the diverging demographic systems, it is necessary to investigate that kind of heterogeneity inside very limited geographical areas. Borders (both formal and informal) offer this kind of small-scale institutional heterogeneity.
Data, regions, and border types
Economic stress will be examined based on data such as time series of real wages or food prices for every researched village. For the demographic analysis I will mainly rely on already existing data and use it comparatively. So far, I have identified the following regions as field sites:
I. Border triangle Prussia, Netherlands, Belgium: proposed village – Würselen (Rhine Province);
II. Transylvania: in the Hungarian part of historical Austria-Hungary, today Romania;
III. Perm Governorate (Пермская губерния), today the Ural Region in Russia;
IV. Scania, Southern Sweden