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Malthusian dynamism and the rise of Europe: Make war, not love

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  • Joachim Voth
  • Nico Voigtländer

Abstract

This paper argues that Malthusian regimes are capable of sustained changes in per capita incomes. Shifting mortality and fertility schedules can lead to different steady-state income levels, with long periods of growth during the transition. Europe checked the downward pressure on wages through late marriage, which reduced fertility, and a mortality regime that combined high death rates with high incomes. We argue that both emerged as a result of the Black Death.

Suggested Citation

  • Joachim Voth & Nico Voigtländer, 2009. "Malthusian dynamism and the rise of Europe: Make war, not love," Economics Working Papers 1185, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1185
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    8. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2006. "Why England? Demographic factors, structural change and physical capital accumulation during the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 319-361, December.
    9. Tine De Moor & Jan Luiten Van Zanden, 2010. "Girl power: the European marriage pattern and labour markets in the North Sea region in the late medieval and early modern period1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(1), pages 1-33, February.
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    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Black Death

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    Cited by:

    1. Nico Voigtl?nder & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "How the West "Invented" Fertility Restriction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2227-2264, October.
    2. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2003-2041, August.
    3. Foreman-Peck, James, 2011. "The Western European marriage pattern and economic development," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 292-309, April.
    4. Oded Galor, 2010. "The 2008 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture-Comparative Economic Development: Insights From Unified Growth Theory," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 1-44, February.
    5. Maya Shatzmiller, 2022. "Structural change and economic development in the Islamic Middle East 700–1500: Population levels and property rights," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 69(1), pages 4-22, February.
    6. Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "The Three Horsemen of Riches: Plague, War, and Urbanization in Early Modern Europe," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 774-811.
    7. Carmine Guerriero, 2020. "Endogenous Institutions and Economic Outcomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 87(346), pages 364-405, April.
    8. Cinnirella, Francesco & Klemp, Marc P B & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2012. "Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as a Preventive Check Mechanism in Pre-Modern England," CEPR Discussion Papers 9116, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Sara LaLumia & James Sallee, 2013. "The value of honesty: empirical estimates from the case of the missing children," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(2), pages 192-224, April.
    10. Arthi, Vellore & Parman, John, 2021. "Disease, downturns, and wellbeing: Economic history and the long-run impacts of COVID-19," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    11. Geert Bekaert & Alexander Popov, 2019. "On the Link Between the Volatility and Skewness of Growth," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 67(4), pages 746-790, December.
    12. Edvinsson, Rodney, 2015. "Pre-industrial population and economic growth: Was there a Malthusian mechanism in Sweden?," Stockholm Papers in Economic History 17, Stockholm University, Department of Economic History.
    13. Bell, Clive & Gersbach, Hans & Komarov, Evgenij, 2019. "Untimely Destruction: Pestilence, War and Accumulation in the Long Run," IZA Discussion Papers 12680, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Jedwab, Remi & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2015. "Urbanization without growth in historical perspective," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-21.
    15. Boranbay, Serra & Guerriero, Carmine, 2019. "Endogenous (in)formal institutions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 921-945.
    16. Le Bris, David & Tallec, Ronan, 2021. "The European Marriage Pattern and its Positive Consequences Montesquieu-Volvestre, 1660-1789," MPRA Paper 105324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Fochesato, Mattia, 2018. "Origins of Europe’s north-south divide: Population changes, real wages and the ‘little divergence’ in early modern Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 91-131.
    18. 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.
    19. Evgeny V. Balatsky, 2020. "Driving the economy: The role of a special economic sector," Journal of New Economy, Ural State University of Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 5-27, October.
    20. Ho, Chi Pui, 2016. "Industrious Selection: Explaining Five Revolutions and Two Divergences in Eurasian Economic History within a Unified Growth Framework," MPRA Paper 73862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2019. "Fecundity, Fertility and The Formation of Human Capital," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(618), pages 925-960.
    22. Rodney Benjamin Edvinsson, 2017. "The response of vital rates to harvest fluctuations in pre-industrial Sweden," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(2), pages 245-268, May.
    23. Voigtländer, Nico & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2009. "The Three Horsemen of Growth: Plague, War and Urbanization in Early Modern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 7275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    24. Gooch, Elizabeth, 2017. "Estimating the Long-Term Impact of the Great Chinese Famine (1959–61) on Modern China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 140-151.
    25. Vogel, Edgar, 2011. "Human Capital and the Demographic Transition: Why Schooling Became Optimal," MEA discussion paper series 11247, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth; Comparative Development; Technological Progress; Demographic Transition; Diversity; Human Capital; Malthusian Stagnation; Black Death;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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