Stem families and joint families in comparative historical perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


This note revisits the author's June 2009 PDR article, " Reconsidering the Northwest European family system." Using an array of contemporary and historical census microdata from around the world with simple controls for agricultural employment and demographic structure, I detected no significant differences in complex family structure between nineteenth-century Western Europe and North America and twentieth-century developing countries. This article adds two new measures designed to detect stem families and joint families. The results suggest that Western Europeans and North Americans have had a long-standing aversion to joint family living arrangements, and that this pattern cannot be easily ascribed to demographic and economic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-577
Number of pages15
JournalPopulation and Development Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Stem families and joint families in comparative historical perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this