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Malthusian dynamics in a diverging Europe : Northern Italy 1650-1881

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  • Alan Fernihough

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Fernihough, 2010. "Malthusian dynamics in a diverging Europe : Northern Italy 1650-1881," Working Papers 201037, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201037
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2671
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. 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.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Two New Papers On Malthus
      by Mark McG in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2010-12-06 00:39:00
    2. Malthusian Dynamics in a Diverging Europe: Northern Italy, 1650–1881
      by Mark McG in Economics and Psychology Research on 2012-10-02 06:21:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Ulrich Pfister & Jana Riedel & Martin Uebele, 2012. "Real Wages and the Origins of Modern Economic Growth in Germany, 16th to 19th Centuries," Working Papers 0017, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic history; Demographic economics; Malthusianism; Italy; Northern--Economic conditions; Italy; Northern--Population; Economic history;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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