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Can demographic transition only be explained by altruistic and neo-Malthusian models?

  • Brezis, Elise S.

Previous researches on demographic transition are based on models incorporating altruism in their utility function. These models are all neo-Malthusian in their essence, since they assume a positive relationship between income and fertility rates. This paper presents a model which departs from the neo-Malthusian frameworks in its definition of altruism. This framework better fits the data and socio-economic context of the early nineteenth century, a period where fertility rates went up. This paper stresses that the evolution of capital, wages and child labor may provide an alternate explanation for the observed pattern of fertility rates during the early European industrialization.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 233-240

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:2:p:233-240
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  2. Horrell Sara & Humphries Jane, 1995. "The Exploitation of Little Children: Child Labor and the Family Economy in the Industrial Revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 485-516, October.
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  12. Parsons, Donald O & Goldin, Claudia, 1989. "Parental Altruism and Self-Interest: Child Labor among Late Nineteenth-Century American Families," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 637-59, October.
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  15. Elise Brezis & Warren Young, 2003. "The new views on demographic transition: a reassessment of Malthus's and Marx's approach to population," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 25-45.
  16. Partha Dasgupta, 1995. "The Population Problem: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1879-1902, December.
  17. Elise S. Brezis, 1995. "Foreign capital flows in the century of Britain's industrial revolution: new estimates, controlled conjectures," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(1), pages 46-67, 02.
  18. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
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