MEHR Seminar: Timothy Guinnane, Yale University, 'Population and Economic Development in the very Long Run'

Abstract: Demographic change and its role in long-term economic growth is now back at the center of several areas of economics. This talk will deal with several facets of an ongoing project (joint with Sheilagh Ogilvie) that uses new and rich data for southwest Germany from the mid-17th century through the early 20th century. At the heart of our project lies the classic method of family reconstitution, which allows us to general individual-level data to examine the determinants of fertility, marriage, and mortality. Our sources contain ancillary information that allows us to avoid many of the pitfalls that have affected early family-reconstitution studies. We also have rich data on asset-holding derived from inventories compiled at marriage and at death. Thus we also have meaningful economic data that allows us to examine the impact of wealth on demographic decisions and outcome.