The Declines in Infant Mortality and Fertility: Evidence from British Cities in Demographic Transition

28 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012

See all articles by Andrew Newell

Andrew Newell

University of Sussex - School of Social Sciences & Cultural Studies; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ian Gazeley

University of Sussex

Abstract

At the beginning of the twentieth century Britain was roughly halfway through a 60-year demographic transition with declining infant mortality and birth rates. Cities exhibited great and strongly correlated diversity in these rates. We demonstrate cross-section correlations with, for instance, women's employment, population density, literacy and improved water supply and sanitation, that have been linked to the transition. When we analyse data from the late 1850s and the early 1900s, the changes in the two rates are not correlated across cities, but we find a robust and large impact from sanitation improvement to long-period infant mortality reduction. We also find the extension of basic literacy is related to increases in female labour market participation, which is in turn related to fertility reduction. Lastly we find that more rapid urban growth accelerates fertility decline, but, in late 19th century Britain it slowed the reduction of infant mortality.

Keywords: fertility, infant mortality, education and sanitary reform, women's participation, education, 19th century and early 20th century Britain

JEL Classification: N33, J13, I15

Suggested Citation

Newell, Andrew T. and Gazeley, Ian, The Declines in Infant Mortality and Fertility: Evidence from British Cities in Demographic Transition. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6855. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2157997

Andrew T. Newell (Contact Author)

University of Sussex - School of Social Sciences & Cultural Studies ( email )

Falmer, Brightonm BN1 9QN
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1273 606755 (Phone)
+44 (0)1273 673563 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ian Gazeley

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/history/profile985.html

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
47
Abstract Views
532
PlumX Metrics