Some notes and speculations about various topics. ||| Gegenwärtig - vorübergehend -
wohl eher eine Gedankensammlung als ein Naturwissenschaftsblog. Das Konzept eines "Naturwissenschaftsblogs" wird erst im kommenden Jahr (2018/2019) Umsetzung finden.
Sonntag, 8. März 2015
The Child Quality-Quantity Tradeoff, England, 1750-1879: Is a Fundamental Component of the Economic Theory of Growth Missing?
A child quantity/quality tradeoff has been a central to economic
theorizing about modern growth. Yet the evidence for this tradeoff
is surprisingly limited. Measuring the tradeoff in the modern era is
difficult because family size is chosen endogenously, and family size
is negatively associated with unmeasured aspects of family “quality.”
England 1770-1880 offers an opportunity to measure this tradeoff in
the first modern economy. In this period there was little association
between family sizes and family “quality”, and if anything this
association was positive. Also completed family size was largely
randomly determined, varying in our sample from 1 to 18. We find
no effect of family size on educational attainment, longevity, or child
mortality. Child wealth at death declines with family size, but this
effect disappears with grandchildren. The switch in England in the
Industrial Revolution to faster growth rates thus seems to owe
nothing to declining family size.