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Malthus in Cointegration Space: A new look at living standards and population in pre-industrial England

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  • Niels Framroze Møller

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Paul Sharp

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We analyze Malthus' (1798) model when labor demand shifts persistently. The Malthusian ideas are formalized and derived in terms of stationarity and cointegration, and the implied restrictions are tested against English pre-industrial data 1560-1760. The evidence suggests a negligible marginal productivity effect of population on real income, implying that the Malthusian "check" relations should be analyzed as cointegrating relations. The data support highly significant preventive checks working via marriages, but weak (in-significant) positive checks. These results are remarkably clear-cut. We suggest a simple interpretation for the lack of response of real income to population, which is consistent with positive feed back effects from population on technology, à la Boserupian- and/or Smithian mechanisms. Recursive estimation confirms stable parameters and identify the end of our modified Malthusian regime.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-16.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0816

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Keywords: cointegrated VAR; unit root econometrics; Malthus; Malthusian model; pre-industrial England;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Johansen, Soren, 1992. "Testing weak exogeneity and the order of cointegration in UK money demand data," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 313-334, June.
  3. Oded_Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth:Unified Growth Theory," Working Papers 2004-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Lee, Ronald, 1973. "Population in Preindustrial England: An Econometric Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 581-607, November.
  5. Jacob Weisdorf & Paul Sharp, 2009. "From preventive to permissive checks: the changing nature of the Malthusian relationship between nuptiality and the price of provisions in the nineteenth century," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 3(1), pages 55-70, January.
  6. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
    [A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  7. 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.
  8. Ronald Lee, 1987. "Population dynamics of humans and other animals," Demography, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 443-465, November.
  9. Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working-Class in England, 1209-2004," Working Papers 539, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  10. Aiyar, Shekhar & Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Moav, Omer, 2006. "Technological Progress and Regress in Pre-Industrial Times," CEPR Discussion Papers 5454, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. David Collard, 2001. "Malthus, Population, and the Generational Bargain," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 697-716, Winter.
  12. Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marc P. B. Klemp, 2012. "Prices, wages and fertility in pre-industrial England," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(1), pages 63-77, January.
  2. Alan Fernihough, 2010. "Malthusian Dynamics in a Diverging Europe: Northern Italy 1650-1881," Working Papers 201037, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  3. 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.
  4. Ulrich Pfister & Georg Fertig, 2010. "The population history of Germany: research strategy and preliminary results," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-035, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  5. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Paul Sharp, 2011. "Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England," Discussion Papers 11-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  6. Timothy W. Guinnane, 2010. "The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists," Working Papers 990, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Timothy W. Guinnane & Susana Martinez Rodriguez, 2012. "For Every Law, a Loophole: Flexibility in the Menu of Spanish Business Forms, 1886-1936," Working Papers 1012, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  8. Tommy E. Murphy, 2010. "Persistence of Malthus or Persistence in Malthus? Mortality, Income, and Marriage in the French Fertility Decline of the Long Nineteenth Century?," Working Papers 363, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.

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