pp 1–16 | Cite as

Further Evidence of Within-Marriage Fertility Control in Pre-Transitional England

  • Francesco CinnirellaEmail author
  • Marc Klemp
  • Jacob Weisdorf


The identification of parity effects on the hazard of a next birth in cross-family data requires accounting for heterogeneity in fecundity across couples. In a previously published article, Cinnirella et al. Demography, 54, 413–436 (2017), we stratified duration models at the maternal level for this purpose and found that the hazard of a next birth decreases with rising parity in historical England. Clark and Cummins Demography, 56 (2019) took issue with this finding, claiming that the result is a statistical artifact caused by stratification at the maternal level. This reply documents that our previous finding is robust to addressing Clark and Cummins’ critique.


Spacing Birth interval Birth control Fertility limitation Preventive check 



  1. Amialchuk, A., & Dimitrova, E. (2012). Detecting the evolution of deliberate fertility control before the demographic transition in Germany. Demographic Research, 27, 507–542. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderton, D. L., & Bean, L. L. (1985). Birth spacing and fertility limitation: A behavioral analysis of a nineteenth century frontier population. Demography, 22, 169–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bengtsson, T., & Dribe, M. (2006). Deliberate control in a natural fertility population: Southern Sweden, 1766–1864. Demography, 43, 727–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cinnirella, F., Klemp, M., & Weisdorf, J. (2017). Malthus in the bedroom: Birth spacing as birth control in pre-transition England. Demography, 54, 413–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clark, G., & Cummins, N. (2019). Randomness in the bedroom: There is no evidence for fertility control in pre-industrial England. Demography, 56(4).Google Scholar
  6. David, P. A., & Mroz, T. A. (1989a). Evidence of fertility regulation among rural French villagers, 1749–1789: A sequential econometric model of birth-spacing behaviour (Part 1). European Journal of Population, 5, 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. David, P. A., & Mroz, T. A. (1989b). Evidence of fertility regulation among rural French villagers, 1749–1789: A sequential econometric model of birth-spacing behaviour (Part 2). European Journal of Population, 5, 173–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dribe, M., & Scalone, F. (2010). Detecting deliberate fertility control in pre-transitional populations: Evidence from six German villages, 1766–1863. European Journal of Population, 26, 411–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ejrnæs, M., & Pörtner, C. C. (2004). Birth order and the intrahousehold allocation of time and education. Review of Economics and Statistics, 86, 1008–1019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Galor, O., & Klemp, M. (2019). Human genealogy reveals a selective advantage to moderate fecundity. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3, 853–857.Google Scholar
  11. Klemp, M., & Weisdorf, J. (2019). Fecundity, fertility, and the formation of human capital. Economic Journal, 129, 925–960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kolk, M. (2011). Deliberate birth spacing in nineteenth century Northern Sweden. European Journal of Population, 27, 337–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Van Bavel, J. (2004a). Deliberate birth spacing before the fertility transition in Europe: Evidence from nineteenth-century Belgium. Population Studies, 58, 95–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Van Bavel, J. (2004b). Detecting stopping and spacing behaviour in historical fertility transition: A critical review of methods. Population (English ed.), 59, 117–128.Google Scholar
  15. Van Bavel, J., & Kok, J. (2004). Birth spacing in the Netherlands: The effects of family composition, occupation and religion on birth intervals, 1820–1885. European Journal of Population, 20, 119–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Van Bavel, J., & Kok, J. (2010). A mixed effects model of birth spacing for pre-transition populations. History of the Family, 15, 125–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Cinnirella
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Marc Klemp
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Jacob Weisdorf
    • 1
    • 4
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of Business and EconomicsUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  2. 2.Danish Institute for Advanced Study (D-IAS)OdenseDenmark
  3. 3.CESifoMunichGermany
  4. 4.Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)LondonUK
  5. 5.Department of EconomicsUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  6. 6.Department of EconomicsBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  7. 7.Population Studies and Training CenterBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  8. 8.Scuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPisaItaly

Personalised recommendations