Malthusian dynamics in a diverging Europe : Northern Italy 1650-1881
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 Boserupian effects as increases in population failed to spur sustained technological growth.
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