Differentials in demographic responses to annual price variations in pre-revolutionary France

A comparison of rich and poor areas in rouen, 1681 to 1787
  • Patrick R. Galloway
Articles

Abstract

An examination of the annual responses of vital events to variations in wheat prices among groups of parishes in the city of Rouen from 1681 to 1787 reveals significant differences between rich and poor parishes in the strength of the preventive check. The urban poor respond to a price increase by dramatically decreasing fertility, while the fertility of the urban wealthy is virtually unaffected. An increase in prices is associated with relatively large increases in mortality, suggesting a strong positive check. However, little difference can be found between the rich and poor areas in the magnitude or timing of mortality responses to price variations.

La réponse démographique différentielle aux variations annuelles des prix en France d'avant la Révolution: Une comparaison entre quartiers riches et pauvres à Rouen, 1681–1787

Résumé

Un examen des réponses annuelles des événements démographiques aux variations du prix du blé dans des groupes de paroisses de la ville de Rouen de 1681 à 1787 révèle des différences significatives entre paroisses riches et paroisses pauvres dans l'intensité du contrôle préventif. Les citadins pauvres répondent à une hausse de prix par une baisse considérable de fécondité, tandis que la fécondité des riches est pratiquement inchangée. Une hausse des prix est associée à des augmentations relativement sensibles de la mortalité, suggérant un important contrôle positif. Toutefois, on ne trouve que peu de différences entre les riches et les pauvres dans l'ampleur ou le calendrier des réponses de la mortalité aux variations de prix.

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© Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick R. Galloway
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Group in Demography, Program in Population ResearchUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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