Prices, Wages and Fertility in Pre-Industrial England
A two-sector Malthusian model is formulated in terms of a cointegrated vector autoregressive (CVAR) model on error correction form. The model allows for both agricultural product wages and relative prices to affect fertility. The model is estimated using new data for the pre-industrial period in England, and the analysis reveals a strong, positive effect of agricultural wages as well as a small and, surprisingly, positive effect of real agricultural prices on fertility. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that there is constant returns to scale with respect to labour in the manufacturing sector and strongly decreasing returns to scale in the agricultural sector.
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