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The European demographic transition

  • Mateos-Planas, Xavier

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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Paper provided by Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton in its series Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics with number 0031.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:stn:sotoec:0031
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  1. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert F. Tamura, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 923-33, December.
  3. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  4. Luisa Fuster, 1998. "Effects of uncertain lifetime and annuity insurance on capital accumulation and growth," Economics Working Papers 249, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
  6. Van Praag, Bernard M.S. & Warnaar, Marcel F., 1993. "The cost of children and the use of demographic variables in consumer demand," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 241-273 Elsevier.
  7. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  8. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-59, October.
  9. Eckstein, Zvi & Mira, Pedro Solbes & Wolpin, Kenneth, 1998. "A Quantative Analysis of Swedish Fertility Dynamics: 1751-1990," CEPR Discussion Papers 1832, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Dahan, Momi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1998. " Demographic Transition, Income Distribution, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 29-52, March.
  11. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
  12. Palivos, Theodore, 1995. "Endogenous fertility, multiple growth paths, and economic convergence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1489-1510, November.
  13. Eckstein, Z. & Mira, P. & Wolpin, K.I., 1997. "A Quantitative Analysis of Swidish Fertility Dynamics : 1751-1990," Papers 22-97, Tel Aviv.
  14. Karine S. Moe, 1998. "Fertility, Time Use, and Economic Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 699-718, July.
  15. Fernando Alvarez, 1999. "Social Mobility: The Barro-Becker Children Meet the Laitner-Loury Dynasties," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 65-103, January.
  16. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
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