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Malthus Was Right after All: Poor Relief and Birth Rates in Southeastern England

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  • Boyer, George R
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    Abstract

    The payment of child allowances to laborers with large families was widespread in early nineteenth-century England. This paper tests Thomas Malthus's hypothesis that child allowances caused the birth rate to increase. A cross-sectional regression model is estimated to explain variations in birth rates across parishes in 1826-30. Birth rates are found to be related to child allowances, income, and the availability of housing, as Malthus contended. The paper concludes by examining the role played by the adoption of child allowances after 1795 in the fertility increase of the early nineteenth century. Copyright 1989 by University of Chicago Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 97 (1989)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 93-114

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:97:y:1989:i:1:p:93-114

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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    1. repec:hir:idecdp:3-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis, 1997. "The problem of population and growth: A review of the literature from Malthus to contemporary models of endogenous population and endogenous growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 205-242, January.
    4. Gregory Clark & Marianne Page, 2008. "Welfare Reform, 1834," Working Papers 87, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    5. Yew, Siew Ling & Zhang, Jie, 2009. "Optimal social security in a dynastic model with human capital externalities, fertility and endogenous growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 605-619, April.
    6. Bester, H. & Güth, W., 1994. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable ?," Discussion Paper 1994-103, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2005. "Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5373, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a "True Natural Experiment"," IZA Discussion Papers 1613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Evolution and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 718-729, May.
    10. Guy Stecklov & Paul Winters & Jessica Todd & Ferdinando Regalia, 2006. "Demographic Externalities from Poverty Programs in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from Latin America," Working Papers 2006-01, American University, Department of Economics.
    11. Charles F. Manski & Joram Mayshar, 2002. "Private and Social Incentives for Fertility: Israeli Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Shinsuke Tanaka & Takahiro Ito, 2014. "Abolishing User Fees, Fertility Choice, and Educational Attainment," IDEC DP2 Series 4-1, Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC).

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