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Detecting Deliberate Fertility Control in Pre‐transitional Populations: Evidence from six German villages, 1766–1863

Dribe, Martin LU and Scalone, Francesco (2010) In European Journal of Population 26(4). p.411-434
Abstract
This article deals with the possible existence of deliberate fertility control before the fertility transition. The timing of the fertility response to economic stress, as measured by fluctuations in grain prices, is used as a measure of deliberate, but non-parity specific, control. Birth histories from six German villages (1766–1863), including information on occupation of the husband, are used together with community-wide grain price series in a micro-level event-history analysis. The results show a negative fertility response to grain prices both in the year immediately following the price change, and with a 1-year lag. The response was also highly different between socioeconomic groups, with the most pronounced effects among the... (More)
This article deals with the possible existence of deliberate fertility control before the fertility transition. The timing of the fertility response to economic stress, as measured by fluctuations in grain prices, is used as a measure of deliberate, but non-parity specific, control. Birth histories from six German villages (1766–1863), including information on occupation of the husband, are used together with community-wide grain price series in a micro-level event-history analysis. The results show a negative fertility response to grain prices both in the year immediately following the price change, and with a 1-year lag. The response was also highly different between socioeconomic groups, with the most pronounced effects among the unskilled laborers. Moreover, the response in this group was very rapid, already present 3–6 months after the price change. As all involuntary fertility responses to economic hardship (e.g., malnutrition, spousal separation, and spontaneous abortion) come with a considerable time lag, the existence of such a rapid response among the lower social groups suggests that individual agency (deliberate control) was an important aspect of reproductive behavior also before the fertility transition. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Deliberate fertility control, Natural fertility, Economic stress, Cox proportional hazards model, Historical demography
in
European Journal of Population
volume
26
issue
4
pages
411 - 434
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000283941600002
  • scopus:78649326521
ISSN
0168-6577
DOI
10.1007/s10680-010-9208-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
623aab03-26c4-461d-b86d-7723106753f3 (old id 1599728)
date added to LUP
2010-05-05 09:46:44
date last changed
2018-05-29 10:56:23
@article{623aab03-26c4-461d-b86d-7723106753f3,
  abstract     = {This article deals with the possible existence of deliberate fertility control before the fertility transition. The timing of the fertility response to economic stress, as measured by fluctuations in grain prices, is used as a measure of deliberate, but non-parity specific, control. Birth histories from six German villages (1766–1863), including information on occupation of the husband, are used together with community-wide grain price series in a micro-level event-history analysis. The results show a negative fertility response to grain prices both in the year immediately following the price change, and with a 1-year lag. The response was also highly different between socioeconomic groups, with the most pronounced effects among the unskilled laborers. Moreover, the response in this group was very rapid, already present 3–6 months after the price change. As all involuntary fertility responses to economic hardship (e.g., malnutrition, spousal separation, and spontaneous abortion) come with a considerable time lag, the existence of such a rapid response among the lower social groups suggests that individual agency (deliberate control) was an important aspect of reproductive behavior also before the fertility transition.},
  author       = {Dribe, Martin and Scalone, Francesco},
  issn         = {0168-6577},
  keyword      = {Deliberate fertility control,Natural fertility,Economic stress,Cox proportional hazards model,Historical demography},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {411--434},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {European Journal of Population},
  title        = {Detecting Deliberate Fertility Control in Pre‐transitional Populations: Evidence from six German villages, 1766–1863},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10680-010-9208-8},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2010},
}