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Institutions and Demographic Responses to Shocks: Württemberg, 1634-1870

  • Timothy Guinnane


    (Department of Economics, Yale University)

  • Sheilagh Ogilvie


    (University of Cambridge)

Simple Malthusian models remain an important tool for understanding pre-modern demographic systems and their connection to the economy. But most recent literature has lost sight of the institutional context for demographic behavior that lay at the heart of Malthus’s own analysis. This paper estimates a short-run version of a Malthusian model for two Württemberg communities from 1646 to 1870. Württemberg differed institutionally from the northwest European societies analyzed in previous studies. The impact of institutional differences shows clearly in differing demographic reactions to economic shocks. Mortality was less sensitive to shocks than one would expect, while nuptiality was especially sensitive.

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Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 962.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:962
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  1. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2004. "The Use and Abuse of Trust: Social Capital and its Deployment by Early Modern Guilds," CESifo Working Paper Series 1302, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Michael Anderson & Ronald Lee, 2002. "Malthus in state space: Macro economic-demographic relations in English history, 1540 to 1870," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 195-220.
  3. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2004. "Guilds, efficiency, and social capital: evidence from German proto-industry," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 57(2), pages 286-333, 05.
  4. Nicolini, Esteban A., 2007. "Was Malthus right? A VAR analysis of economic and demographic interactions in pre-industrial England," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 99-121, April.
  5. Shiue, Carol H., 2005. "From political fragmentation towards a customs union: Border effects of the German Zollverein, 1815 to 1855," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 129-162, August.
  6. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1995. "Population Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262181606, June.
  7. Timothy W. Guinnane, 1998. "Population and the Economy in Germany, 1800-1990," Working Papers 793, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  8. Ogilvie, Sheilagh, 2003. "A Bitter Living: Women, Markets, and Social Capital in Early Modern Germany," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198205548.
  9. Chow, Gregory C & Lin, An-loh, 1971. "Best Linear Unbiased Interpolation, Distribution, and Extrapolation of Time Series by Related Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(4), pages 372-75, November.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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