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The response of vital rates to harvest fluctuations in pre-industrial Sweden

Author

Listed:
  • Rodney Benjamin Edvinsson

    () (Stockholm University
    Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study)

Abstract

Abstract This study examines whether there was a Malthusian equilibrium mechanism in Sweden in the pre-industrial period. A unique data set on harvests, deaths, marriages and births going back to 1630 is used to calculate cumulative elasticities of vital rates with respect to harvest. While earlier studies have mostly focused on the impact of real wage, this study uses the calorie content of per capita harvests as an indicator of living standards. It finds that there indeed was a response of vital rates to harvest fluctuations, but there were important structural breaks. While positive checks attenuated after 1720, preventive checks were strengthened. After 1870 preventive checks disappeared, and possibly also positive checks. The results are robust to different models and trend specifications, with one crucial difference: while the distributed lag model shows that positive checks were significant up to 1920, the SVAR model shows that positive checks disappeared after 1870.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:cliomt:v:11:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0144-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s11698-016-0144-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jagris:v:9:y:2019:i:5:p:92-:d:227694 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Kostadis J. Papaioannou, 2018. "The Horns of a Dilemma in Colonial Policies:Rice, Rubber and Living Standards in the Malay Peninsula," Working Papers 0122, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sweden; Economic history; Demography; Agriculture; Malthus; Mortality; Fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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