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Industrialization and the Fertility Decline

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  • Raphael Franck
  • Oded Galor

Abstract

The research provides the first empirical examination of the hypothesized effect of industrialization on the fertility decline. Exploiting exogenous source of regional variations in the adoption of steam engines across France, the study establishes that industrialization was a major catalyst in the fertility decline in the course of the demographic transition. Moreover, the analysis further suggests that the contribution of industrialization to the decline in fertility plausibly operated through the effect of industrialization on human capital formation. Thus, the study confirms one of the central elements of Unified Growth Theory which hypothesizes that a critical force in the transition from stagnation to growth was by the impact of industrialization on the onset of the demographic transition, via the rise in the demand for human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Franck & Oded Galor, 2015. "Industrialization and the Fertility Decline," Working Papers 2015-6, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2015-6
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    Cited by:

    1. Diebolt, Claude & Mishra, Tapas & Perrin, Faustine, 2015. "Did Gender-Bias Matter in the Quantity-Quality Trade-off in 19th Century France?," Lund Papers in Economic History 141, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    2. Thomas Baudin & Robert Stelter, 2016. "Rural exodus and fertility at the time of industrialization," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. David de la Croix & Faustine Perrin, 2016. "French Fertility and Education Transition: Rational Choice vs. Cultural Diffusion," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

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    Keywords

    Economic Growth; Fertility Transition; Human Capital; Industrialization; Steam Engine.;

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