The European demographic transition
This paper investigates the factors that shaped the demographic transition in a number of European countries (Sweden, England, and France) since the mid 18th century. The analytical framework is a version of the neoclassical growth model with dynastic preferences calibrated to match the Swedish experience. This setup is studied quantitatively to asses the contribution of various factors to the explanation of the observed demographic patterns, both over time and across countries. The factors considered are mortality changes, technological progress, and the evolution of the cost of children. The analysis suggests that the contribution of observedmortality rates and technology is only partial. A substantial part of the demographic-transition facts must be attributed to unobservable variation in the cost of children, both over time and across countries Keywords; altruism, growth, demographic transition, mortality, fertility
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