Land reforms and population growth

Lehmijoki, U. & Palokangas, T. (2016). Land reforms and population growth. Portuguese Economic Journal 15 (1) 1-15. 10.1007/s10258-016-0115-8.

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One of the greatest puzzles in demographic history is why in the rich and urbanized England, fertility declined much later than in the poor and rural France. We consider the effects of a land reform on demographic growth by a family-optimization model where relative per capita wealth generates social status and welfare. We show that tenant farming is the major obstacle to escaping the Malthusian trap with high fertility and low productivity. A land reform provides peasants with higher returns for their investments, inducing them to increase their productivity and status rather than their family size. Consequently, the population growth rate slows down, but the productivity of land increases.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Land reforms, Population growth, Status, Relative wealth, Sharecropping
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2016 06:34
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:26

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