Research Themes

Relation between Marriage Patterns and the emergence of institutions for collective action


Research Topics

A general description of the project can be found in the project description


Individual research topics are:

  • Nuclear family households in a new light: hardship versus benefits
  • 'Surrogate family households': in-living non-kin in Dutch families in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
  • Social security for the old: retirement contracts throughout Europe form the thirteenth century on
  • Life-cycles of households: the influence of age at marriage, the age gap between spouses, and neolocality
  • Patterns, parents, and partners: linking marriage patterns to inter- and intra-generational wealth exchanges
  • Spreading marriage patterns: what do genealogy and migration tell us?
Research Questions
  • What did households in early modern Dutch society look like?
  • Were nuclear family households indeed more vulnerable than extended family households, or was their hardship cyclical, providing for periods of prosperity?
  • Did in-living strangers provide a solution to nuclear hardship?
  • What options did the elderly have to secure their living throughout Europe?
Research area and period

Europe, thirteenth - eighteenth centuries.


Preliminary results (click on topic to view preliminary results)

> From hardship to benefit: A critical review of the nuclear hardship theory n relation to the emergence of the European Marriage Pattern (Working Paper CGEH; submitted to journal)

  • Hoofdgeld-kohieren (documents dating from (generally) 1622-3, containing registrations of household compositions . These registrations were performed in order to assess the amount of poll tax that was to be levied on each individual household. This poll tax was levied by the knighthood, noblemen, and cities (ridderschap, edelen en steden) of Holland and West-Friesland, in order to finance the recruitment of new troops that were to liberate the city of Bergen op Zoom from the Spanish occupation and to defend the rest of the Low Countries against any attacks from the Spanish enemy troops.


  • Genealogical reconstructions of family households per town (composed by local historians and genealogists)


  • Collections of genealogical data, compiled by genealogical societies.


Related webpages
Related datasets

Datasets based on the results of our research activities will in due time be published on this website.


Related publications


DE MOOR, Tine and VAN ZANDEN, Jan Luiten, 2006. Vrouwen en de geboorte van het kapitalisme in West-Europa. Amsterdam: Boom.

DE MOOR, Tine and VAN ZANDEN, Jan Luiten, 2010. Girlpower. The European marriage pattern (EMP) and labour markets in the north sea region in the late medieval and early modern period. The Economic History Review, 63 (1) 1-33.

> click here for full article

BOUMAN, Annemarie, ZUIJDERDUIJN, Jaco, and DE MOOR, Tine, 2012.From hardship to benefit: A critical review of the nuclear hardship theory n relation to the emergence of the European Marriage Pattern. Working Paper CGEH.

> click here for full article

Researchers involved