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The Demographic Transition in Europe: A Neoclassical Dynastic Approach

  • Xavier Mateos-Planas

    (University of Southampton)

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)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.2001.0156
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 646-680

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:5:y:2002:i:3:p:646-680
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  1. 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.
  2. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  3. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
  4. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 923-33, December.
  7. Luisa Fuster, 1998. "Effects of uncertain lifetime and annuity insurance on capital accumulation and growth," Economics Working Papers 249, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
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