Journal of Economic Growth

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 105–140

Malthus in cointegration space: evidence of a post-Malthusian pre-industrial England


DOI: 10.1007/s10887-013-9094-0

Cite this article as:
Møller, N.F. & Sharp, P. J Econ Growth (2014) 19: 105. doi:10.1007/s10887-013-9094-0


This paper re-examines the interaction between population growth and income per capita in pre-industrial England. Our results suggest that, as early as two centuries preceding the Industrial Revolution, England had already escaped the Malthusian Epoch and entered a post-Malthusian regime, where income per capita continued to spur population growth but was no longer stagnant. Our formulation of a post-Malthusian hypothesis implies cointegration between vital rates (birth- and death rates) and income and builds explicitly on a simple model of Malthusian stagnation. We show that this hypothesis can be interpreted as an extension of the latter model where the negative Malthusian feedback effect from population on income, as implied by diminishing returns to labor, is offset by a positive Boserupian and/or Smithian scale effect of population on technology.


Cointegration Malthus Post-Malthusian regime Pre-industrial England Structural model Unified growth theory 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DTU Management Engineering, Energy Systems AnalysisTechnical University of DenmarkRoskildeDenmark
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of CopenhagenKøbenhavn KDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Business and EconomicsUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

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