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Malthus in cointegration space: evidence of a post-Malthusian pre-industrial England

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  • Niels Møller

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  • Paul Sharp

Abstract

This paper re-examines the interaction between population growth and income per capita in pre-industrial England. Our results suggest that, as early as two centuries preceding the Industrial Revolution, England had already escaped the Malthusian Epoch and entered a post-Malthusian regime, where income per capita continued to spur population growth but was no longer stagnant. Our formulation of a post-Malthusian hypothesis implies cointegration between vital rates (birth- and death rates) and income and builds explicitly on a simple model of Malthusian stagnation. We show that this hypothesis can be interpreted as an extension of the latter model where the negative Malthusian feedback effect from population on income, as implied by diminishing returns to labor, is offset by a positive Boserupian and/or Smithian scale effect of population on technology. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

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  • Niels Møller & Paul Sharp, 2014. "Malthus in cointegration space: evidence of a post-Malthusian pre-industrial England," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 105-140, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:19:y:2014:i:1:p:105-140
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-013-9094-0
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Miikka Voutilainen & Jouni Helske & Harri Högmander, 0. "A Bayesian Reconstruction of a Historical Population in Finland, 1647–1850," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 0, pages 1-22.
    3. Miikka Voutilainen & Jouni Helske & Harri Högmander, 2020. "A Bayesian Reconstruction of a Historical Population in Finland, 1647–1850," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(3), pages 1171-1192, June.
    4. Moreno-Cruz, Juan & Taylor, M. Scott, 2020. "Food, Fuel and the Domesday Economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    5. Ron W. Nielsen, 2017. "Changing the Direction of the Economic and Demographic Research," Papers 1708.08673, arXiv.org.
    6. Madsen, Jakob B. & Robertson, Peter E. & Ye, Longfeng, 2019. "Malthus was right: Explaining a millennium of stagnation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 51-68.
    7. Bruno Chiarini & Elisabetta Marzano, 2014. "Urbanization and Growth: Why Did the Splendor of the Italian Cities in the Sixteenth Century not Lead to Transition?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5038, CESifo.
    8. Nina Boberg‐Fazlić & Paul Sharp, 2017. "Does Welfare Spending Crowd Out Charitable Activity? Evidence from Historical England Under the Poor Laws," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(599), pages 50-83, February.
    9. Groth, Christian & Persson, Karl Gunnar, 2016. "Growth or stagnation in pre-industrial Britain? A revealed income growth approach," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 264, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    10. Fochesato, Mattia, 2018. "Origins of Europe’s north-south divide: Population changes, real wages and the ‘little divergence’ in early modern Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 91-131.
    11. Peter Sandholt Jensen & Maja Uhre Pedersen & Cristina Victoria Radu & Paul Richard Sharp, 2020. "Arresting the Sword of Damocles: Dating the Transition to the Post-Malthusian Era in Denmark," Working Papers 0182, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    12. Niels Framroze Møller, 2013. "Understanding Unemployment Hysteresis: A system-based econometric approach to changing equilibria and slow adjustment," Discussion Papers 13-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    13. Javier Mejia, 2018. "Social Interactions and Modern Economic Growth," Documentos CEDE 016379, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    14. Maja Pedersen & Claudia Riani & Paul Sharp, 2019. "Malthus in Pre-industrial Northern Italy? A Cointegration Approach," Working Papers 0156, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    15. Crafts, Nicholas & Mills, Terence C., 2020. "The Race between Population and Technology : Real Wages in the First Industrial Revolution," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1298, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    16. Ulrich Pfister & Georg Fertig, 2020. "From Malthusian Disequilibrium to the Post-Malthusian Era: The Evolution of the Preventive and Positive Checks in Germany, 1730–1870," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(3), pages 1145-1170, June.
    17. Ho, Chi Pui, 2016. "Industrious Selection: Explaining Five Revolutions and Two Divergences in Eurasian Economic History within a Unified Growth Framework," MPRA Paper 73862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Møller, Niels Framroze, 2015. "Energy Demand, Substitution and a Potential for Electrification: An econometric analysis of eight Danish subsectors," MPRA Paper 69931, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Lüger, Tim, 2018. "A VAR evaluation of classical growth theory," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 231, Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Law and Economics.
    20. Rodney Benjamin Edvinsson, 2017. "The response of vital rates to harvest fluctuations in pre-industrial Sweden," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(2), pages 245-268, May.
    21. Ron W. NIELSEN, 2017. "Changing the direction of the economic and demographic research," Journal of Economics Library, KSP Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 288-309, September.

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