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FERTILITY CONTROL DUE TO SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC STRESS IN RURAL ARAGÓN (SPAIN), 1801–1909

  • Francisco J. Marco-Gracia (a1)

Abstract

This paper deals with the permanent existence of deliberate fertility control arising from short-term economic stress among rural farm workers. The micro-level analysis uses the family reconstitution method for ten rural Spanish localities. The husband's socio-economic level is regarded as an indicator of the family's socio-economic status. According to the available data, human agency between 1801 and 1909 resulted in a negative fertility response among all farm groups, with this negative response being especially strong among the landless and semi-landless. The existence of a rapid fertility control response suggests that such control was a voluntary decision. Since the end of the 19th century, the number of economic shocks due to high prices has reduced.

Este artículo analiza la existencia permanente de control voluntario de la fecundidad a partir del análisis de estrés económico en el corto plazo entre los trabajadores rurales agrarios. Nuestro análisis a nivel micro ha sido desarrollado usando el método de reconstrucción de familias para diez localidades rurales españolas. El nivel socioeconómico del marido es usado como indicador del estatus socioeconómico familiar. La voluntad de los individuos de controlar su fecundidad entre 1801 y 1909 dio como resultado una respuesta negativa de la fecundidad entre todos los grupos agrarios analizados, con una respuesta especialmente fuerte y negativa en el caso de los individuos sin propiedades agrarias o con pocas propiedades. La existencia de una rápida respuesta en el control de la fecundidad sugiere que ese control respondió a una decisión voluntaria. A partir de finales del siglo XIX, el número de shocks económicos debido a los altos precios se redujo.

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Department of History. fjmgracia1@sun.ac.za

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FERTILITY CONTROL DUE TO SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC STRESS IN RURAL ARAGÓN (SPAIN), 1801–1909

  • Francisco J. Marco-Gracia (a1)

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