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Regional Patterns of Economic Development: A Typology of French Departments During the Industrialization

In: Cliometrics of the Family

Author

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  • Faustine Perrin

    (Lund University)

  • Mickaël Benaim

    (University of Manchester)

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to describe and explain regional patterns of economic development as revealed by data on about 70 variables for France in the middle of the nineteenth century. The development process occurred at different speed across space. The process turned out to be specific and varied across French counties. The characteristics can be classified in a three-part taxonomy based on counties’ specificities: (1) productive structure, (2) urban-uneducated versus rural-educated structure, and (3) marital structure. Most prosperous counties are characterized by a dynamic industry, gender equality, high education, fertility control within marriage, and low fertility rates. Backward counties are heavily dependent on agriculture and present gender inequalities, a poorly educated population, control of nuptiality, and high fertility rates. The findings resulting from this analysis have implications for our understanding on the origins and consequences of the development process (output growth, human capital accumulation, fertility transition). It contributes to (1) explain the trajectories followed by the French regions, (2) to disentangle the reasons behind the emergence of strengths or the persistence of weaknesses, and (3) to explain the variations in the timing and pace to reaching sustained economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Faustine Perrin & Mickaël Benaim, 2019. "Regional Patterns of Economic Development: A Typology of French Departments During the Industrialization," Studies in Economic History, in: Claude Diebolt & Auke Rijpma & Sarah Carmichael & Selin Dilli & Charlotte Störmer (ed.), Cliometrics of the Family, chapter 0, pages 197-235, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:stechp:978-3-319-99480-2_9
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-99480-2_9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Diebolt, Claude & Mishra, Tapas & Perrin, Faustine, 2021. "Gender empowerment as an enforcer of individuals’ choice between education and fertility: Evidence from 19th century France," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 408-438.

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