Malthus was right: new evidence from a time-varying VAR
AbstractAlthough Unified Growth Theory presumes the existence of the Maltusian mechanism in pre-industrial England recent empirical studies challenged this assumption. This paper studies the interaction of vital rates and real wages in the period from 1540 to 1870 in England. We employ time-varying VARs, an approach which addresses potential shortcomings such as parameter instability and declining volatilities in the previous literature. In contrast to recent studies, the main Malthusian mechanisms - the preventive and the positive check - were both at work until the mid-19th century. The preventive check was decreasing and the positive check increasing in importance. Most remarkably, the positive check dominated after the 1750s. The results indicate that instead of disappearing before the advent of the industrial revolution, the Malthusian mechanism rather changed its face over time.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 477.
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Industrial revolution; Malthusian trap; time-varying vector autoregression; unified growth theory;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-02-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2010-02-27 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2010-02-27 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
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