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Malthusian Dynamics in a Diverging Europe: Northern Italy 1650-1881

  • Alan Fernihough

    (University College Dublin)

Recent empirical research has questioned the validity of using Malthusian theory in pre-industrial England. Using real wage and vital rate data for the years 1650-1881, I provide empirical estimates for a different region { Northern Italy. The empirical methodology is theoretically underpinned by a simple Malthusian model, in which population, real wages and vital rates are determined endogenously. My findings strongly support the existence of a `Malthusian' economy where population growth depressed living standards, which in turn influenced vital rates. In addition, I find no evidence of Boseru- pian effects as increases in population failed to spur sustained technological growth.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/wp10_37.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201037.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 15 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201037
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Eckstein, Zvi & Schultz, T. Paul & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1984. "Short-run fluctuations in fertility and mortality in pre-industrial Sweden," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 295-317, December.
  2. Crafts, Nicholas & Mills, Terence C., 2009. "From Malthus to Solow: How did the Malthusian economy really evolve?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 68-93, March.
  3. Chiarini, Bruno, 2010. "Was Malthus right? The relationship between population and real wages in Italian history, 1320 to 1870," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 460-475, October.
  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. Massimo Bacci, 1967. "Modernization and Tradition in the Recent History of Italian Fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 657-672, June.
  6. Giovanni Federico & Paolo Malanima, 2004. "Progress, decline, growth: product and productivity in Italian agriculture, 1000-2000," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 57(3), pages 437-464, 08.
  7. 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.
  8. Alexander Rathke & Samad Sarferaz, 2010. "Malthus was right: new evidence from a time-varying VAR," IEW - Working Papers 477, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Nicolini, Esteban A., 2007. "Was Malthus right? A VAR analysis of economic and demographic interactions in pre-industrial England," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 99-121, April.
  10. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Morgan Kelly & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2010. "Living Standards and Mortality since the Middle Ages," Working Papers 201026, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  12. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
  13. 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.
  14. Michael Anderson & Ronald Lee, 2002. "Malthus in state space: Macro economic-demographic relations in English history, 1540 to 1870," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 195-220.
  15. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
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