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Prices, wages and fertility in pre-industrial England

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  • Marc P. B. Klemp

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, building 26, 1353 Copenhagen, Denmark)

Abstract

To shed light on the economic-demographic mechanisms operating in the epoch of pre-industrial economic stagnation, a two-sector Malthusian model is formulated in terms of a cointegrated vector autoregressive model on error correction form. The model allows for both agricultural product wages and relative prices to affect fertility. The model is estimated using new data for the pre-industrial period in England, and the analysis reveals a strong, positive effect of agricultural wages as well as a nonnegative effect of real agricultural prices on fertility. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that there is strongly decreasing returns to scale with respect to labour in the agricultural sector and approximately constant returns to scale in the manufacturing sector. The analysis provides evidence in favour of the usual Malthusian model, as invoked by unified growth theories such as e.g. Galor and Weil (Am Econ Rev 90:806–828, 2000).

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11698-011-0072-5
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its journal Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 63-77

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Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:6:y:2012:i:1:p:63-77

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Related research

Keywords: Malthus; Cointegration; Pre-industrial England;

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References

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  1. Nicolini, Esteban A., 2007. "Was Malthus right? A VAR analysis of economic and demographic interactions in pre-industrial England," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 99-121, April.
  2. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  3. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501.
  4. Weisdorf, Jacob L., 2008. "Malthus revisited: Fertility decision making based on quasi-linear preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 127-130, April.
  5. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," Center for Development Economics 2010-07, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised May 2011.
  6. Crafts, Nicholas & Mills, Terence C., 2009. "From Malthus to Solow: How did the Malthusian economy really evolve?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 68-93, March.
  7. Michael Anderson & Ronald Lee, 2002. "Malthus in state space: Macro economic-demographic relations in English history, 1540 to 1870," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 195-220.
  8. Niels Framroze Møller & Paul Sharp, 2008. "Malthus in Cointegration Space: A new look at living standards and population in pre-industrial England," Discussion Papers 08-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  9. Møller, Niels Framroze, 2008. "Bridging Economic Theory Models and the Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Model," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 2(36), pages 1-29.
  10. Holger Strulik & Jacob Weisdorf, 2008. "Population, food, and knowledge: a simple unified growth theory," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 195-216, September.
  11. Juselius, Katarina, 2006. "The Cointegrated VAR Model: Methodology and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199285679.
  12. Craig, Lee, 2009. "Comment on "From Malthus to Solow: How did the Malthusian economy really evolve?"," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 94-97, March.
  13. Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2011. "The Child Quantity-Quality Trade-Off During the Industrial Revolution in England," Discussion Papers 11-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Marc Patrick Brag Klemp & Niels Framroze Møller, 2013. "Post-Malthusian Dynamics in Pre-Industrial Scandinavia," Working Papers 2013-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Claude Diebolt & Faustine Perrin, 2014. "Growth Theories," Working Papers 02-14, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).

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