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The Preventive Check in Medieval and Pre-industrial England

  • Morgan Kelly

    (University College Dublin)

  • Cormac Ó Gráda

    (University College Dublin)

England’s post-Reformation demographic regime has been characterized as ‘low pressure’. Yet the evidence hitherto for the presence of a preventive check, defined as the short-run response of marriage and births to variations in living standards, is rather weak. New evidence in this paper strengthens the case for the preventive check in both medieval and early modern England. We invoke manorial data to argue the case for a preventive check on marriages in the middle ages. Our analysis of the post-1540 period, based on parish-level rather than aggregate data, finds evidence for a preventive check on marriages and births.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/WP11_10.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201110.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 30 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201110
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
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Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Foreman-Peck, James, 2009. "The Western European Marriage Pattern and Economic Development," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2009/15, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  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.
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