Population and Economy: From Hunger to Modern Economic Growth

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Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population has for the past two centuries been a constant source of inspiration and debate for scholars working on relationships between population and economy in a historical perspective. This book sets a new standard in this active and influential field of research. The contributors go beyond the conventional European and North American geographical boundaries, bringing out new empirical findings and developing new arguments. The volume is divided into three parts. The first part takes up classical issues - the 'positive' and the 'preventive' checks and their determinants - raised by Malthus himself, and examines the issues against fresh evidence from Europe, America, and Asia. These issues are also themes of the second part, which is devoted to short-term fluctuations in mortality and fertility in relation to prices, wages, and other economic indicators. The final set of chapters is a coherent collection of technically sophisticated articles from an on-going international joint project concerned with how households respond to economic stress in different economic, social, and cultural settings, in traditional China, Japan, Sweden, Belgium, and Italy. With a brief, but well-organized introduction, this collection of scholarly essays offers both demographers and economic historians a wealth of exciting findings and stimulating insights.