Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England
AbstractFundamental to the Malthusian model of pre-industrial society is the assumption that higher income increased reproductive success. Despite the seemingly inescapable logic of this model, its empirical support is weak. We examine the link between income and net fertility using data from wills on reproductive success, social status and income for England 1585 1638. We find that for this society, close to a Malthusian equilibrium, wealth robustly predicted reproductive success. The richest testators left twice as many children as the poorest. Consequently, in this static economy, social mobility was predominantly downwards. The result extends back to at least 1250 in England.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.
Volume (Year): 66 (2006)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
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Other versions of this item:
- Gregory Clark & Gillian Hamilton, 2006. "Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England," Working Papers 615, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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