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Quantitative History Seminar

For Michaelmas term please see Core seminars in Economic and Social History 

Lent Term 2018


Seminars will take place in Room 5, Faculty of History at 4.00pm


Convenor: Leigh Shaw-Taylor -

23rd January
Frances Richardson (University of Oxford)
Were nonconformist occupations different? A comparison with fathers' occupations from Anglican baptisms in six Welsh hundreds, 1813-20

The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure used fathers' occupations from Anglican baptisms to construct a 'census' of adult male occupations 1813-20. However, in areas where nonconformity was strong, a significant proportion of baptisms were missing from parish registers, especially in Wales. This study assesses the availability of nonconformist baptism records in six Welsh hundreds, and analyses whether there were significant differences between the occupations of Anglican and nonconformist fathers or between nonconformist denominations. As fathers' occupations were only available for an estimated 31% of nonconformist baptisms, the
representativeness of this data is considered, and ways of estimating missing occupations explored.

13th March
Cheng Yang (University of Cambridge)
160 years of occupational structure: Late Imperial China and its regions

Despite extensive debates around West-East divergence in economic developments before and during the Industrial Revolution, empirical evidence of China remains thin. Using Xingke Tiben (judicial records of Chinese homicide trials), a hitherto unused source for occupational data, a new occupational database has been created that comprises individual-level occupational data and other key variables; over 31,000 individuals in 8,000 randomly sampled Xingke Tiben from the Qing Empire's 320 prefectures in 1736-1898 are recorded. This paper discusses the core methodology (assessment of the inherent biases; reweighting) and key results of reconstructing the occupational structure of China and its regions from this database.


Lent Term 2018 programme - print version

Supported by the Centre for History and Economics and the Trevelyan Fund

Seminar programme archive