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Fertility versus Productivity: A Model of Growth with Evolutionary Equilibria

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We develop a quantitative model that is consistent with three principal building blocks of Unified Growth Theory: the break-out from economic stagnation, the buildup to the Industrial Revolution, and the onset of the fertility transition. Our analysis suggests that (i) the escape from the Malthusian trap was triggered by the demographic catastrophes in the aftermath of the Black Death, (ii), household investment in children ultimately raised wages despite an increasing population, and (iii) rising human capital, combined with the increasing elasticity of substitution between child quantity and quality, reduced target family size and contributed to the fertility transition.

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  • Foreman-Peck, James & Zhou, Peng, 2020. "Fertility versus Productivity: A Model of Growth with Evolutionary Equilibria," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2020/13, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2020/13
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    Keywords

    Fertility Transition; Industrial Revolution; English Economy; Economic Development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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