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Institutions, culture and the onset of the demographic transition

  • Alberto Basso

    ()

    (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)

  • David Cuberes Vilalta

    ()

    (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)

This paper uses new estimates of the dates on which different countries experienced their demographic transition to examine the main historical determinants of these transitions. Our results indicate that countries with better historical institutions reached the onset of the transition earlier. This is the case after controlling for the effects of geography, climate, religion, and legal origins. We distinguish between the roles played by formal and informal institutions, where the latter are proxied by culture, using the genetic distance between populations from Spolaore and Wacziarg (2009). We find that both types of institutions are significant predictors of the timing of demographic transition. Our results are robust to endogeneity issues, measurement error, and alternative specifications.

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File URL: http://www.ivie.es/downloads/docs/wpasad/wpasad-2011-13.pdf
File Function: Fisrt version / Primera version, 2011
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Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 2011-13.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2011-13
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