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Malthus revisited: Fertility decision making based on quasi-linear preferences


  • Weisdorf, Jacob L.


Malthus' (1798) population hypothesis is inconsistent with the demographic transitions and the massive income expansion observed among industrialised countries. The current study shows that eliminating the income-effect on the demand for children from Malthus' theory makes consistent with industrial development.

Suggested Citation

  • Weisdorf, Jacob L., 2008. "Malthus revisited: Fertility decision making based on quasi-linear preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 127-130, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:99:y:2008:i:1:p:127-130

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holger Strulik, 2003. "Mortality, the Trade-off between Child Quality and Quantity, and Demo-economic Development," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 499-520, November.
    2. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
    3. Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
    4. Tamura, Robert, 1996. "From decay to growth: A demographic transition to economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1237-1261.
    5. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:598:p:2292-2323 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dietrich Vollrath, 2012. "Land tenure, population, and long-run growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 833-852, July.
    3. Marc P. B. Klemp, 2012. "Prices, wages and fertility in pre-industrial England," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(1), pages 63-77, January.
    4. Strulik, Holger & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2007. "The Simplest Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 6528, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Holger Strulik & Jacob Weisdorf, 2008. "Birth, Death, and Development: A Simple Unified Growth Theory," Discussion Papers 08-32, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    6. Rahman, Ahmed S., 2013. "The Road Not Taken: What Is The “Appropriate” Path To Development When Growth Is Unbalanced?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(04), pages 747-778, June.
    7. Mehdi Senouci, 2013. "Direction of technical change, endogenous fertility, and patterns of growth," Working Papers hal-01206021, HAL.
    8. Strulik, Holger & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2010. "How Child Costs and Survival Shaped the Industrial Revolution and the Demographic Transition: A Theoretical Inquiry," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-442, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    9. Marc Klemp & Niels Framroze Møller, 2016. "Post-Malthusian Dynamics in Pre-Industrial Scandinavia," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 118(4), pages 841-867, October.
    10. Lemin Wu & Rohan Dutta & David K Levine & Nicholas W Papageorge, 2014. "Entertaining Malthus: Bread, Circuses and Economic Growth," Levine's Bibliography 786969000000000853, UCLA Department of Economics.
    11. Dietrich Vollrath, 2011. "The agricultural basis of comparative development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 343-370, December.
    12. Carl‐Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2016. "Physiology and Development: Why the West is Taller Than the Rest," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(598), pages 2292-2323, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General


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