People on the move: determinants of servant migration in nineteenth-century Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article deals with the high mobility of servants in preindustrial northwestern Europe. By combining both a qualitative and a quantitative approach we analyse the determinants of servant migration in the province of Scania, in southern Sweden, during the nineteenth century. The analysis shows that about half of the moves were connected to the structure of working-life organization, servant hierarchy and marriage. The rest depended on a range of other factors such as the type and structure of the master's household, variations in the demand for labour caused by fluctuations in harvest yields, conflicts within households, or a wish to gain additional training.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-91
JournalContinuity and Change
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch