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Detecting the Evolution of Deliberate Fertility Control before the Demographic Transition in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Aliaksandr Amialchuk

    (University of Toledo)

  • Elitsa Dimitrova

    (Institute for Population and Human Studies (IPHS))

Abstract

Background: Previous literature has established the existence of deliberate non-parity-specific fertility control in pre-transitional populations. However, less focus has been given to the timing of its onset. In addition, previous studies focused on the changes in fertility in response to the local prices of grains, which may be endogenous. Objective: This paper studies the emergence and evolution of deliberate fertility control by investigating the link between child mortality and economic stress on the one hand and non-parity-specific birth control on the other, in historic German villages between 1700 and 1900. Methods: Birth histories from fourteen German villages (1700-1900) and rye price series are used in a micro-level event history analysis. The fertility response of second and higher-order births to the mortality of children over age two and exogenous fluctuations in rye price are used as measures of the extent of deliberate non-parity-specific birth control. Results: Over the course of the demographic transition, the effect of the death of children generally increases after controlling for the effect of the death of children less than two years old. The negative fertility response to high rye prices before and in the year immediately following the price change occurred only after 1800. Conclusions: The replacement and insurance effects associated with child mortality generally increased before the demographic transition. The emergence of the negative effect of high rye prices on fertility after 1800 further supports the presence and evolution of deliberate non-parity-specific fertility control before the demographic transition.

Suggested Citation

  • Aliaksandr Amialchuk & Elitsa Dimitrova, 2012. "Detecting the Evolution of Deliberate Fertility Control before the Demographic Transition in Germany," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 27(19), pages 507-542.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:27:y:2012:i:19
    DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2012.27.19
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    File URL: https://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol27/19/27-19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins & Matthew Curtis, 2020. "Twins Support the Absence of Parity-Dependent Fertility Control in Pretransition Populations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(4), pages 1571-1595, August.
    2. Francesco Cinnirella & Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2017. "Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as Birth Control in Pre-Transition England," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(2), pages 413-436, April.
    3. Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins & Matthew Curtis, 0. "Twins Support the Absence of Parity-Dependent Fertility Control in Pretransition Populations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 0, pages 1-25.
    4. Francesco Cinnirella & Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2019. "Further Evidence of Within-Marriage Fertility Control in Pre-Transitional England," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(4), pages 1557-1572, August.
    5. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil & Curtis, Matthew, 2019. "Twins Support Absence of Parity-Dependent Fertility Control in Pre-Transition Western European Populations," CEPR Discussion Papers 13539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Kai P. Willführ & Charlotte Störmer, 2013. "Reproductive behavior of landless agricultural workers, small farmers, and the economic elite in the historical Krummhörn region [East Frisia, Germany, 1720-1870]," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2013-011, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Cummins, Neil, 2020. "The micro-evidence for the Malthusian system. France, 1670–1840," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    8. Bastian Mönkediek, 2020. "Patterns of spatial proximity and the timing and spacing of bearing children," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 42(16), pages 461-496.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    demographic transition; Germany; breastfeeding; replacement; fertility control;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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