Parental influence over children’s status attainment has historically been argued to be key. However, the cross-sibling influence has been scarcely studied for historical periods and for steam family societies, being the most long-lasting relationship across individuals’ lives once childhood was surpassed. We investigate how intra-generational family relationships determine the social destiny of siblings taking a long-term perspective (16th and the 19th centuries) for Barcelona and its hinterland, using the unique data compiled in the Barcelona Historical Marriage Database. This region was one of the most dynamic economic area in Southern Europe. We found the emergence of the figure of first-married siblings as determinants in the status attainment of other brothers and sisters and a decline in parental influence from the 18th century onwards for all social groups, denying a sibling competing model. This influence worked differently over time depending on sex. First-born sisters with exogamous marriages had a higher influence than first-married brothers on the social mobility of the rest of siblings along the 16th and 17th century. Conversely, from the 18th century onwards, first-married brothers had a higher ascendancy than first-married sisters. Sibship size and the siblings’ marriage order did not contribute to explain these effects. These results can be interpreted in light of an increase in life expectancy of adult population and a change in the occupational structure due to an early industrialization and in affectivity in the18th century.
- Ekonomisk historia