Tim Riswick

PhD Project

Between Rivalry and Support. The impact of Brothers and Sisters on Infant and Child Mortality Risks in Taiwan and the Netherlands, 1860-1945.

During the last decade, studies investigating the influence of siblings through birth rank, position within the family and sibship size have underscored their importance in demographic processes and outcomes in historical times. This PhD-project aims to fill the gap in historical mortality research by focusing on the influence of the number of siblings on mortality chances of children under the age of five from a comparative approach. Because the way in which humans organise families varies around the globe, the overall picture of the human family is one of flexibility between and within populations. Moreover, this affects the way in which family members cooperate or compete with each other. Thus, this PhD-project investigated inequality in life chances by examining the diverse roles siblings may play within households in Taiwan and the Netherlands during the period 1860-1940.