IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as a Preventive Check Mechanism in Pre-Modern England

  • Cinnirella, Francesco

    (Ifo Institute, CESifo and CEPR)

  • Klemp, Marc P. B.

    (Brown University and University of Copenhagen)

  • Weisdorf, Jacob L.

    (University of Southern Denmark, Utrecht University and CEPR)

The role of demography in long-run economic growth has been subject to increasing attention. This paper questions the received wisdom that marital birth control was absent before the nineteenth century. Using an extensive individual-level dataset covering 270,000 births from 80,000 families we show that higher national and sector-specific real wages reduced spacing between births in England over more than three centuries, from 1540-1850. This effect is present among both poor and rich families and is robust to a wide range of control variables accounting for external factors influencing a couple’s fertility such as malnutrition, climate shocks and the disease environment.

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: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/174-2013_cinnirella.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 174.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:174
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CV4 7AL COVENTRY

Phone: +44 (0) 2476 523202
Fax: +44 (0) 2476 523032
Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/

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. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
  2. Nico Voigtlander & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2009. "Malthusian Dynamism and the Rise of Europe: Make War, Not Love," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 248-54, May.
  3. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1999. "Malthus to Solow," Staff Report 257, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. John Knodel, 1987. "Starting, stopping, and spacing during the early stages of fertility transition: The experience of German village populations in the 18th and 19th centuries," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 24(2), pages 143-162, May.
  5. Douglas Anderton, 1989. "Comment on Knodel’s “starting, stopping, and spacing during the early stages of fertility transition”," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(3), pages 467-470, August.
  6. Kelly, Morgan & Ó Gráda, Cormac, 2012. "The Preventive Check in Medieval and Preindustrial England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(04), pages 1015-1035, December.
  7. Nina Boberg-Fazlic & Paul Sharp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2011. "Survival of the Richest? Social Status, Fertility, and Social Mobility in England 1541-1824," Discussion Papers 11-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2011. "The Lasting Damage to Mortality of Early-Life Adversity: Evidence from the English Famine of the late 1720s," Discussion Papers 11-14, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  9. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  10. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil, 2010. "Malthus to Modernity: England’s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800," MPRA Paper 25465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working-Class in England, 1209-2004," Working Papers 539, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  12. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  13. Tommy Bengtsson & Martin Dribe, 2006. "Deliberate control in a natural fertility population: Southern Sweden, 1766–1864," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(4), pages 727-746, November.
  14. E. A. Wrigley, 1966. "Family Limitation in Pre-Industrial England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 19(1), pages 82-109, 04.
  15. Crafts, Nicholas & Mills, Terence C., 2009. "From Malthus to Solow: How did the Malthusian economy really evolve?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 68-93, March.
  16. Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
  17. Fabrice Murtin, 2013. "Long-Term Determinants of the Demographic Transition, 1870–2000," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 617-631, 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:cge:wacage:174. 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: (Jane Snape)

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.