Detecting the Evolution of Deliberate Fertility Control before the Demographic Transition in Germany
This paper studies the evolution of deliberate fertility control in fourteen historic German villages between 1700 and 1900. The fertility response to infant and child mortality and exogenous fluctuations in rye price are used as measures of the existence and extent of deliberate non-parity specific control. The results show that, even before the demographic transition, the breastfeeding effect associated with infant mortality decreases and the replacement effect associated with child mortality increases. A negative fertility response to high rye price is present only after 1800, supporting the existence and evolution of deliberate non-parity specific fertility control before the demographic transition.
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