The Demographic Transition in Europe: A Neoclassical Dynastic Approach
This paper investigates the factors that have shaped the demographic transition in a number of European countries (Sweden, England, and France) since the mid 18th century. The analytical framework is a version of the neoclassical growth model with dynastic preferences calibrated to match the Swedish experience. This model is used to study the contribution of various factors to the explanation of the observed demographic patterns, both over time and across countries. The factors considered are mortality changes, technological progress, and the evolution of the cost of children. The analysis suggests that the contribution of observed mortality rates is limited. A substantial part of the demographic transition must be atrtributed to variation in the cost of children and/or technological change, both over time and across countries. (Copyright: Elsevier)
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