Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as Birth Control in Pre-Transition England

47 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2016

See all articles by Francesco Cinnirella

Francesco Cinnirella

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CAGE

Marc Klemp

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Jacob Louis Weisdorf

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 08, 2016

Abstract

We use duration models on a well-known historical dataset of more than 15,000 families and 60,000 births in England for the period 1540–1850 to show that the sampled families adjusted the timing of their births in accordance with the economic conditions as well as their stock of dependent children. The effects were larger among the lower socioeconomic ranks. Our findings on the existence of parity-dependent as well as parity-independent birth spacing in England are consistent with the growing evidence that marital birth control was present in pre-transitional populations.

Keywords: spacing, birth intervals, birth control, fertility limitation, preventive check

JEL Classification: J110, J130, O120, N330

Suggested Citation

Cinnirella, Francesco and Klemp, Marc and Weisdorf, Jacob Louis, Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as Birth Control in Pre-Transition England (November 08, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6167. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2884602

Francesco Cinnirella (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

DK-5230 Odense
Denmark

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschingerstrasse 5
Munich, 81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

CAGE ( email )

Premier Business Centre
47-49 Park Royal Road
London, NW10 7LQ
United Kingdom

Marc Klemp

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

Jacob Louis Weisdorf

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

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