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The Demographic Transition in Europe: A Neoclassical Dynastic Approach

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  • Xavier Mateos-Planas

    (University of Southampton)

Abstract

This paper investigates the factors that have shaped the demographic transition in a number of European countries (Sweden, England, and France) since the mid 18th century. The analytical framework is a version of the neoclassical growth model with dynastic preferences calibrated to match the Swedish experience. This model is used to study the contribution of various factors to the explanation of the observed demographic patterns, both over time and across countries. The factors considered are mortality changes, technological progress, and the evolution of the cost of children. The analysis suggests that the contribution of observed mortality rates is limited. A substantial part of the demographic transition must be atrtributed to variation in the cost of children and/or technological change, both over time and across countries. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.2001.0156
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 646-680

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:5:y:2002:i:3:p:646-680

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Keywords: demographic transition; mortality; fertility; neoclassical growth model; dynastic preferences; altruism.;

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  1. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1999. "Malthus to Solow," Staff Report 257, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert F. Tamura, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1993. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barro, R.J. & Becker, G.S., 1988. "Fertility Choice In A Model Of Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  5. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  6. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 923-33, December.
  7. Luisa Fuster, 1999. "Effects of uncertain lifetime and annuity insurance on capital accumulation and growth," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 429-445.
  8. Fernando Alvarez, 1999. "Social Mobility: The Barro-Becker Children Meet the Laitner-Loury Dynasties," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 65-103, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Schäfer & Simone Valente, 2007. "Habit Formation, Dynastic Altruism, and Population Dynamics," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 07/77, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  2. Alice Schoonbroodt & Larry E. Jones, 2010. "Baby Busts and Baby Booms: The Fertility Response to Shocks in Dynastic Models," 2010 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Francesco C.Billari & Vincenzo Galasso, 2008. "What Explains fertility? Evidence from Italian pension reforms," Working Papers 343, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt, 2007. "Complements versus Substitutes and Trends in Fertility Choice in Dynastic Models," NBER Working Papers 13680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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