The institution of retirement on Scanian estates in the nineteenth century

Christer Lundh, Mats Olsson

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This article examines the institution of retirement on some estates in Scania, the southernmost part of Sweden, in the nineteenth century. It is obvious that tenant farmers on the estates were practising the same retirement system as was customary among freeholders, that is they were entering into retirement contracts with their offspring or with a non-relative, making over the farm in exchange for board and lodging for the rest of their lives. The retirement age was about 60 for men and somewhat less for women. In this respect there was no difference between tenant farmers and freeholders. However, due to differences in property conditions and land tenure, there were other differences between these groups. Freeholders were usually able to ensure for themselves considerably better pension rights than could estate tenants. Furthermore, there are clear indications that estate owners, in certain cases, opposed early retirement or intervened in the selection of new tenant farmers as well as in the level of the pension. Possibly as a result, it was more common among estate tenants to agree a retirement contract with a non-relative than it was among freeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-403
JournalContinuity and Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic History


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