Hao Dong publishes a new article in the History of the Family on adopted children’s survival differentials and gender differences in Tokugawa Japan

Hao Dong and our long-time collaborator and friend Satomi Kurosu have just published a paper in the History of the Family titled “Gendered survival differentials of adopted children in northeast Japan, 1716–1870

Here is the abstract:

Adoption was an important strategy for early-modern Japanese families to function and continue. This study is the first to systematically examine whether survival chances differ between adopted and non-adopted children and how gender moderates the survival differentials in historical Japan. We take advantage of individual-level panel data drawn from local household registers in northeast villages and towns between 1716 and 1870 consisting of 71,677 annual observations of 10,587 children aged 1–14, of whom 384 were adopted. Our event-history analysis takes a rich set of household characteristics and local economic context into account. We also apply matching and within-family comparison approaches to account for the unequal sex and age distribution of records between adopted and non-adopted children and unobserved systematic differences between households. We find substantial survival differentials between adopted and non-adopted children, which further vary by sex. Compared with non-adopted children of the same gender, adopted boys enjoyed survival advantages, while adopted girls suffered from elevated mortality risks. Moreover, the gendered survival differentials of adopted children were particularly apparent among those aged 5–9 rather than at older ages. In line with the patriarchal norms, these findings imply potentially different familial expectations for boy and girl adoptions in shaping child survival differentials.

Congratulations Hao and Satomi!