IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Malthus to Modernity: England’s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800

  • Gregory Clark
  • Neil Cummins

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

English fertility history is generally regarded as having been composed of two re-gimes: an era of unregulated marital fertility, from at least 1540 to 1890, then the modern era, with regulated marital fertility, lower for higher social classes. We show there were in fact three fertility regimes in England: a Malthusian regime which lasted from at least 1500 until 1780, where fertility was substantially higher for the rich, an intermediate regime from 1780 to 1890 with fertility undifferentiated by class, and finally the modern regime. Wealthy English men produced substantially fewer children within a generation of the onset of the Industrial Revolution, over 100 years before the classic demographic transition. At the same time the fertility of the poor increased. Determining what triggered this change, however, and why it coincided with the Industrial Revolution, will require further research.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1013.

in new window

Length: 45
Date of creation: 10 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:10-13
Contact details of provider: Postal: One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8578
Phone: (530) 752-0741
Fax: (530) 752-9382
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Timothy S. Fuerst & Charles T. Carlstrom, 1998. "Agency costs and business cycles," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 583-597.
  2. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo A. Guerrón-Quintana & Juan Rubio-Ramírez & Martín Uribe, 2009. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," NBER Working Papers 14875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2012. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 18245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Aoki, Kosuke & James Proudman & Gertjan Vlieghe, 2003. "House prices, consumption, and monetary policy: a financial accelerator approach," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 7, Royal Economic Society.
  5. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
  6. Morris A. Davis, 2010. "housing and the business cycle," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  7. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M & Tamura, Robert, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S12-37, October.
  8. Kevin Salyer & Gabriel Lee, 2006. "Time-Varying Uncertainty and the Credit Channel," Working Papers 61, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  9. Matteo Iacoviello, 2002. "House prices, borrowing constraints and monetary policy in the business cycle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 542, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 06 Dec 2004.
  10. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 1996. "Agency costs, net worth, and business fluctuations: a computable general equilibrium analysis," Working Paper 9602, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  11. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2004. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Working Paper 0318, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2007. "Why Does Household Investment Lead Business Investment over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 141-168.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2006. "Housing Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 12787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Matteo Iacoviello & Stefano Neri, 2008. "Housing market spillovers: Evidence from an estimated DSGE model," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 659, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  15. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  16. Jonathan Heathcote, 2003. "Housing and the Business Cycle," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-21, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  17. Gregory Clark & Gillian Hamilton, 2006. "Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England," Working Papers 615, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  18. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  20. Gregory Clark, 2005. "Human Capital, Fertility, and the Industrial Revolution," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 505-515, 04/05.
  21. Matteo Iacoviello & Raoul Minetti, 2002. "The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy: Evidence from the Housing Market," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 541, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 29 Aug 2003.
  22. Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins, 2009. "Urbanization, Mortality, and Fertility in Malthusian England," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 242-47, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:10-13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Scott Dyer)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.