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Journal articles (2020), Explorations in Economic History, 75

Marriage Strategy among the European Nobility


We use a unique dataset to analyze the marriage patterns of the British and German nobility from the 1500s to the 1800s, and discuss the differences in institutions between the two countries. Historical evidence shows that: nobles tended to marry nobles with identical title; and, German marriages were characterized by a higher degree of homogamy in titles than British marriages. Moreover, we show that German data exhibit lower odds of marriage than British among nobles and commoners, and hence provide evidence of a more stratified society. Finally, we propose a diff-in-diff exercise to test the correlation between highly restrictive marriage laws and marital sorting in Germany. Link to the article

MARCASSA, S., POUYET, J. and TRÉGOUËT, T. (2020). Marriage Strategy among the European Nobility. Explorations in Economic History, 75.

Keywords : #Marriage, #nobility, #class, #elite, #history, #assortative-matching