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Malthus in Cointegration Space: A new look at living standards and population in pre-industrial England

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  • Niels Framroze Møller

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Paul Sharp

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We analyze Malthus' (1798) model when labor demand shifts persistently. The Malthusian ideas are formalized and derived in terms of stationarity and cointegration, and the implied restrictions are tested against English pre-industrial data 1560-1760. The evidence suggests a negligible marginal productivity effect of population on real income, implying that the Malthusian "check" relations should be analyzed as cointegrating relations. The data support highly significant preventive checks working via marriages, but weak (in-significant) positive checks. These results are remarkably clear-cut. We suggest a simple interpretation for the lack of response of real income to population, which is consistent with positive feed back effects from population on technology, à la Boserupian- and/or Smithian mechanisms. Recursive estimation confirms stable parameters and identify the end of our modified Malthusian regime.

Suggested Citation

  • Niels Framroze Møller & Paul Sharp, 2008. "Malthus in Cointegration Space: A new look at living standards and population in pre-industrial England," Discussion Papers 08-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0816
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Guinnane, Timothy W. & Marrinez Rodriguez, Susana, 2012. "For Every Law, a Loophole: Flexibility in the Menu of Spanish Business Forms, 1886-1936," Center Discussion Papers 123319, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    3. Timothy W. Guinnane, 2011. "The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 589-614, September.
    4. Ulrich Pfister & Georg Fertig, 2010. "The population history of Germany: research strategy and preliminary results," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-035, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Møller, Niels Framroze, 2008. "Bridging Economic Theory Models and the Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Model," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 2, pages 1-29.
    6. Persson, Karl Gunnar, 2008. "The Malthus delusion," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 165-173, August.
    7. Evgeny V. Balatsky, 2020. "Driving the economy: The role of a special economic sector," Journal of New Economy, Ural State University of Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 5-27, October.
    8. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Paul Sharp, 2010. "Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_036, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    9. Marc P. B. Klemp, 2012. "Prices, wages and fertility in pre-industrial England," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(1), pages 63-77, January.
    10. Alan Fernihough, 2013. "Malthusian Dynamics in a Diverging Europe: Northern Italy, 1650–1881," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 311-332, February.
    11. Foreman-Peck, James & Zhou, Peng, 2014. "The Rise of the English Economy 1300-1900: A Lasting Response to Demographic Shocks," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2014/3, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    12. Tommy E. Murphy, 2010. "Persistence of Malthus or Persistence in Malthus? Mortality, Income, and Marriage in the French Fertility Decline of the Long Nineteenth Century?," Working Papers 363, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cointegrated VAR; unit root econometrics; Malthus; Malthusian model; pre-industrial England;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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