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The Demographic Transition in Europe: A Neoclassical Dynastic Approach

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  • Xavier Mateos-Planas

    (University of Southampton)

Abstract

This paper investigates the factors that have shaped the demographic transition in a number of European countries (Sweden, England, and France) since the mid 18th century. The analytical framework is a version of the neoclassical growth model with dynastic preferences calibrated to match the Swedish experience. This model is used to study the contribution of various factors to the explanation of the observed demographic patterns, both over time and across countries. The factors considered are mortality changes, technological progress, and the evolution of the cost of children. The analysis suggests that the contribution of observed mortality rates is limited. A substantial part of the demographic transition must be atrtributed to variation in the cost of children and/or technological change, both over time and across countries. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Mateos-Planas, 2002. "The Demographic Transition in Europe: A Neoclassical Dynastic Approach," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(3), pages 646-680, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:5:y:2002:i:3:p:646-680 DOI: 10.1006/redy.2001.0156
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-867, June.
    3. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1205-1217.
    4. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 374-387.
    5. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 481-501.
    6. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1999. "Malthus to Solow," Staff Report 257, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    7. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 923-933.
    8. Fernando Alvarez, 1999. "Social Mobility: The Barro-Becker Children Meet the Laitner-Loury Dynasties," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 65-103, January.
    9. Luisa Fuster, 1999. "Effects of uncertain lifetime and annuity insurance on capital accumulation and growth," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 429-445.
    10. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1205-1217.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco C. Billari, 2009. "What explains fertility? Evidence from Italian pension reforms," 2009 Meeting Papers 807, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Schäfer, Andreas & Valente, Simone, 2011. "Habit Formation, Dynastic Altruism, And Population Dynamics," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, pages 365-397.
    3. 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.
    4. Francesco C.Billari & Vincenzo Galasso, 2008. "What Explains fertility? Evidence from Italian pension reforms," Working Papers 343, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    5. Larry Jones & Alice Schoonbrodt, 2016. "Baby Busts and Baby Booms: The Fertility Response to Shocks in Dynastic Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 22, pages 157-178, October.
    6. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt, 2010. "Complements Versus Substitutes And Trends In Fertility Choice In Dynastic Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 671-699, August.
    7. Larry Jones & Alice Schoonbrodt, 2016. "Baby Busts and Baby Booms: The Fertility Response to Shocks in Dynastic Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 22, pages 157-178, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    demographic transition; mortality; fertility; neoclassical growth model; dynastic preferences; altruism.;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General

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