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Household Composition and Canada's Rural Capitalism: The Extent of Rural Labor Markets in 1901

Publication Abstract

Sylvester, Kenneth M. 2001. "Household Composition and Canada's Rural Capitalism: The Extent of Rural Labor Markets in 1901." Journal of Family History, 26(9): 289-309.

The impact of family structure on waged employment is examined using data from the national sample of the 1901 census. The findings suggest that historical inflexibility in the supply of rural labor stemmed from the demands farm parents placed on work-age children. The pervasiveness of family proprietorship in agriculture worked to keep a majority of work-age Canadians outside of waged employment in 1901. Even in the country's western interior, where farms were much larger, individuals who lived in married-couple households on farms were the least likely to report themselves in the census as employees.

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