In preindustrial society, the loss of a spouse usually impelled the surviving party to adapt quickly by choosing between certain strategies: to remain the head of the household, to remarry, to enter a household headed by a child or the spouse of child, to dissolve the household and enter into an unrelated person's household, or to migrate out of the parish. The use of competing-risk hazard models and longitudinal microlevel data shows that demographic, socioeconomic, and gender-related factors interacted in determining the choice of strategy in a rural area of southern Sweden during the nineteenth century.

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