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Fertility and wealth in early colonial India: Evidence from widow suicides (satis) in Bengal

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  • Bandyopadhyay, Sanghamitra
  • Green, Elliott

Abstract

Previously evidence on the pre-modern relationship between wealth and fertility almost entirely relied upon data from Europe. Using British colonial records from early 19th-century India on widow suicides (satis), we find a robust positive relationship between income and fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Bandyopadhyay, Sanghamitra & Green, Elliott, 2013. "Fertility and wealth in early colonial India: Evidence from widow suicides (satis) in Bengal," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 302-304.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:120:y:2013:i:2:p:302-304
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2013.04.046
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Sharp, Paul & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2011. "Survival of the richest? Social status, fertility and social mobility in England 1541-1824," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 365-392, December.
    2. Clark, Gregory & Hamilton, Gillian, 2006. "Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 707-736, September.
    3. Hadeishi, Hajime, 2003. "Economic Well-Being and Fertility in France: Nuits, 1744 1792," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 489-505, June.
    4. Ronald Lee, 2003. "The Demographic Transition: Three Centuries of Fundamental Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 167-190, Fall.
    5. Jayant Banthia & Tim Dyson, 1999. "Smallpox in Nineteenth-Century India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(4), pages 649-680.
    6. Weir, David R., 1995. "Family Income, Mortality, and Fertility on the Eve of the Demographic Transition: A Case Study of Rosny-Sous-Bois," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(01), pages 1-26, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carla Blázquez-Fernández & David Cantarero-Prieto & Marta Pascual-Sáez, 2017. "What Does It Drive the Relationship Between Suicides and Economic Conditions? New Evidence from Spain," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 1087-1099, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Wealth; Early colonial India;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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