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Industrialization and Fertility in the Nineteenth Century: Evidence from South Carolina

  • WANAMAKER, MARIANNE H.

Economists frequently hypothesize that industrialization contributed to the United States’ nineteenth-century fertility decline. I exploit the circumstances surrounding industrialization in South Carolina between 1881 and 1900 to show that the establishment of textile mills coincided with a 6–10 percent fertility reduction. Migrating households are responsible for most of the observed decline. Higher rates of textile employment and child mortality for migrants can explain part of the result, and I conjecture that an increase in child-raising costs induced by the separation of migrant households from their extended families may explain the remaining gap in migrant-native fertility.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 72 (2012)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 168-196

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:72:y:2012:i:01:p:168-196_00
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