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Can demographic transition only be explained by altruistic and neo-Malthusian models?

Authors
Journal
The Journal of Socio-Economics
1053-5357
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
39
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2009.11.001
Keywords
  • Altruism
  • Demographic Transition
  • Capital
  • Proletariat
  • Fertility
  • Child Labor
Disciplines
  • Economics

Abstract

Abstract Previous researches on demographic transition are based on models incorporating altruism in their utility function. These models are all neo-Malthusian in their essence, since they assume a positive relationship between income and fertility rates. This paper presents a model which departs from the neo-Malthusian frameworks in its definition of altruism. This framework better fits the data and socio-economic context of the early nineteenth century, a period where fertility rates went up. This paper stresses that the evolution of capital, wages and child labor may provide an alternate explanation for the observed pattern of fertility rates during the early European industrialization.

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