Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as a Preventive Check Mechanism in Pre-Modern England
AbstractThe role of demography in long-run economic growth has been subject to increasing attention. This paper questions the received wisdom that marital birth control was absent before the nineteenth century. Using an extensive individual-level dataset covering 270,000 births from 80,000 families we show that higher national and sector-specific real wages reduced spacing between births in England over more than three centuries, from 1540-1850. This effect is present among both poor and rich families and is robust to a wide range of control variables accounting for external factors influencing a couple’s fertility such as malnutrition, climate shocks and the disease environment.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 174.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
Spacing; birth intervals; fertility limitation; natural fertility; preventive check;
Other versions of this item:
- Cinnirella, Francesco & Klemp, Marc P B & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2012. "Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as a Preventive Check Mechanism in Pre-Modern England," CEPR Discussion Papers 9116, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Francesco Cinnirella & Marc P. B. Klemp & Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2012. "Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as a Preventive Check Mechanism in Pre-Modern England," CESifo Working Paper Series 3936, CESifo Group Munich.
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2013-11-29 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2013-11-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-11-29 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-EDU-2013-11-29 (Education)
- NEP-HIS-2013-11-29 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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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