Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as a Preventive Check Mechanism in Pre-Modern England
We question the received wisdom that birth limitation was absent among historical populations before the fertility transition of the late nineteenth-century. Using duration and panel models on individual data, we find a causal negative effect of living standards on birth spacing in the three centuries preceding England's fertility transition. While the effect could be driven by biology in the case of the poor, a significant effect among the rich suggests that spacing worked as a control mechanism in pre-modern England. Our findings support the Malthusian preventive check hypothesis and rationalize England's historical leadership as a low population-pressure, high-wage economy.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1998.
"Malthus to Solow,"
NBER Working Papers
6858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Douglas Anderton, 1989. "Comment on Knodel’s “starting, stopping, and spacing during the early stages of fertility transition”," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 467-470, August.
- 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.
- Joachim Voth & Nico Voigtländer, 2009. "Malthusian dynamism and the rise of Europe: Make war, not love," Economics Working Papers 1185, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- 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
- Oded Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," GE, Growth, Math methods 0409003, EconWPA.
- Oded_Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth:Unified Growth Theory," Working Papers 2004-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Galor, Oded, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 4581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- Morgan Kelly & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2011. "The Preventive Check in Medieval and Pre-industrial England," Working Papers 201110, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins, 2010.
"Malthus to Modernity: England’s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800,"
1013, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil, 2010. "Malthus to Modernity: England’s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800," MPRA Paper 25465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2011.
"The Lasting Damage to Mortality of Early-Life Adversity: Evidence from the English Famine of the late 1720s,"
11-14, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2012. "The lasting damage to mortality of early-life adversity: evidence from the English famine of the late 1720s," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 233-246, August.
- 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, vol. 24(2), pages 143-162, May.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000.
"Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth,"
2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191, November.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Oded Galor, 2005. "Unified Growth Theory," Development and Comp Systems 0504001, EconWPA.
- E. A. Wrigley, 1966. "Family Limitation in Pre-Industrial England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 19(1), pages 82-109, 04.
- Gregory Clark, 2005.
"The Condition of the Working-Class in England, 1209-2004,"
539, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tommy Bengtsson & Martin Dribe, 2006. "Deliberate control in a natural fertility population: Southern Sweden, 1766–1864," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 727-746, November.
- Nina Boberg-Fazlic & Paul Sharp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2011.
"Survival of the Richest? Social Status, Fertility, and Social Mobility in England 1541-1824,"
11-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Sharp, Paul & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2011. "Survival of the richest? Social status, fertility and social mobility in England 1541-1824," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 365-392, December.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9116. 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: ()The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address
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.