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The determinants of income in a Malthusian equilibrium

Author

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  • Sharp, Paul
  • Strulik, Holger
  • Weisdorf, Jacob

Abstract

This study constructs a simple, two-sector Malthusian model with agriculture and industry, and uses it to identify the determinants of income in a Malthusian equilibrium. We make standard assumptions about preferences and technologies, but in contrast to existing studies we assume that children and other consumption goods are gross substitutes. Consistent with the conventional Malthusian model, the present theory shows that productivity growth in agriculture has no effect on equilibrium income. More importantly, we also show that equilibrium income varies, not just with the death rate as has recently been demonstrated in the literature, but also with the level of productivity in the industrial sector. An empirical analysis using data for pre-industrial England lends support to both hypotheses.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharp, Paul & Strulik, Holger & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2012. "The determinants of income in a Malthusian equilibrium," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 112-117.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:97:y:2012:i:1:p:112-117
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2010.12.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. N. F. R. Crafts & C. K. Harley, 1992. "Output growth and the British industrial revolution: a restatement of the Crafts-Harley view," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 45(4), pages 703-730, November.
    2. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2003-2041, August.
    3. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2015. "The physiological foundations of the wealth of nations," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 37-73, March.
    4. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
    5. Allen, Robert C., 1992. "Enclosure and the Yeoman: The Agricultural Development of the South Midlands 1450-1850," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198282969.
    6. Kevin O’rourke & Jeffrey Williamson, 2005. "From Malthus to Ohlin: Trade, Industrialisation and Distribution Since 1500," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 5-34, January.
    7. Holger Strulik & Jacob Weisdorf, 2008. "Population, food, and knowledge: a simple unified growth theory," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 195-216, September.
    8. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," Introductory Chapters,in: A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World Princeton University Press.
    9. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
    10. Juselius, Katarina, 2006. "The Cointegrated VAR Model: Methodology and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199285679.
    11. Strulik, Holger, 2010. "A Note On Economic Growth With Subsistence Consumption," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(05), pages 763-771, November.
    12. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David de la Croix & Eric B. Schneider & Jacob Weisdorf, 2017. ""Decessit sine prole" Childlessness, Celibacy, and Survival of the Richest in Pre-Industrial England," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2017001, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. Bruno Lanz & Simon Dietz & Timothy Swanson, 2017. "Global Population Growth, Technology, And Malthusian Constraints: A Quantitative Growth Theoretic Perspective," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 973-1006, August.
    3. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2015. "The physiological foundations of the wealth of nations," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 37-73, March.
    4. Holger Strulik, 2012. "From Worship to Worldly Pleasures: Secularization and Long-Run Economic Growth," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 116, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    5. repec:eee:ecolec:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:260-277 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bruno Lanz & Simon Dietz & Tim Swanson, 2016. "Economic growth and agricultural land conversion under uncertain productivity improvements in agriculture," FOODSECURE Working papers 53, LEI Wageningen UR.
    7. repec:got:cegedp:145 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Holger Strulik, 2014. "Knowledge And Growth In The Very Long Run," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 459-482, May.
    9. Ken Tabata, 2013. "The Expansion of the Commercial Sector and the Child Quantity-Quality Transition in a Malthusian World," Discussion Paper Series 105, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised May 2013.
    10. Lanz, Bruno & Dietz, Simon & Swanson, Tim, 2018. "The Expansion of Modern Agriculture and Global Biodiversity Decline: An Integrated Assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 260-277.
    11. repec:oup:ajagec:v:100:y:2018:i:2:p:545-569. is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Malthusian model; Subsistence income;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations

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