Expenditures and food consumption of a patrician family in nineteenth-century Trentino: the Bossi Fedrigotti
Author(s): Marcella Lorenzini
JEL Classification: D14, D64, E21, M41, N00, R20
This paper aims to analyse the expenditure and consumption of a noble family from Trentino, the Bossi Fedrigotti, in the nineteenth century. The origin and evolution of the family assets are traced from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century as they shifted from transport to trade, from trade to finance, and finally from finance to agriculture. The research is based on the household budgets and investigates the type, composition and variations in expenditures during two benchmark decades, 1835-44 and 1855-64. The relatively small share of expenses for food as compared to leisure, cultural activities, charity and conspicuous consumption reflects the family’s quest for social status and reputation, leading to the obtainment of a noble title in the eighteenth century. The Bossi Fedrigotti represented a pillar in the economic system of Rovereto, which they actively supported through a variety of economic and non-economic actions, helping the city to prosper and advance.
Keywords: 19th century, economic history, household budgets, Italy, living standards, Tyrol, wellbeing