1 Two 19th-century Classical Economists have influenced to this day our interpretation of how demographic changes influenced the economy



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1) Two 19th-century Classical Economists have influenced to this day our interpretation of how demographic changes influenced the economy:

  • 1) Two 19th-century Classical Economists have influenced to this day our interpretation of how demographic changes influenced the economy:

  • (i) Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834)

  • (ii) David Ricardo (1722 – 1823)

  • 2) Note that the Law of Diminishing Returns is crucial to both their models: but that concept was unknown till the late 19th century

  • 3) Malthus’s Subsistence Crisis model was done last day – now we turn to Ricardo





1) Ricardo’s own, original theoretical model: on differences in productivity between two pieces of land, using same capital and technology

  • 1) Ricardo’s own, original theoretical model: on differences in productivity between two pieces of land, using same capital and technology

  • 2) Johann von Thünen (1783-1850): German economist who added the importance of differences in distance to markets and thus of transportation costs



3) ‘Marginalist’ School of Economics, culminating with Alfred Marshall (1842-1924): importance of the margin:

  • 3) ‘Marginalist’ School of Economics, culminating with Alfred Marshall (1842-1924): importance of the margin:

  • - marginal utility, marginal productivity, marginal cost, marginal revenue  leading to

  • 4) Law of Diminishing Returns (last day): especially to explain the Malthusian model of subsistence crises



Economic rent on land is the value of the difference in productivity between

  • Economic rent on land is the value of the difference in productivity between

  • a given piece of land and the poorest piece of land (or the land most distant from the market)

  • producing the same goods (bushels of wheat) under the same conditions (of labour, capital, technology, climate)

  • Essence of argument: wide differences in production and marketing costs between the best and worst lands called into production to feed a given population



Productivity of agricultural land defined by:

  • Productivity of agricultural land defined by:

  • - (1) the natural fertility of the soil: as utilized by given technology and stock of capital

  • (2) the distance from the market in which the grains (or other agricultural goods) are sold

  • (3) so: the productivity differences involve the costs of both producing and marketing the grains in a given market.



Population growth forces into production new lands that are (almost by definition) higher cost marginal lands (marginal = extra)

  • Population growth forces into production new lands that are (almost by definition) higher cost marginal lands (marginal = extra)

  • Such marginal lands are higher cost for reasons already seen:

    • (1) inferior soil fertility
    • (2) and/or greater distance from the market, and thus requiring higher transportation and marketing costs (Von Thnen’s contribution)


The price of grain is determined by the marginal cost of producing the last (marginal) bushel of grain on the last (marginal) unit of land brought into production, from distant markets

  • The price of grain is determined by the marginal cost of producing the last (marginal) bushel of grain on the last (marginal) unit of land brought into production, from distant markets

  • Only one price for grain can prevail in any market: determined by the marginal cost of producing grain and supplying it to the market (cf von Thünen model)

  • Economic rent is thus the surplus value created by the difference between the production costs on each unit of land: from the best (highest, closest) to the worst unit and/or most distant land

  • which has no economic rent)





(1) Supply elasticities (more than demand elasticities) help to explain:

  • (1) Supply elasticities (more than demand elasticities) help to explain:

  • - (a) trends in long-term prices

  • - (b) differences in economic rents accruing on lands for crops, pasture, industrial production

  • (2) Changes in supply curves with population growth: see the Ricardo graph

  • (a) grains (arable): steeply sloping supply curves

  • (b) livestock products: less steeply sloping

  • (c) industrial products: flat, or gently sloping





The excess or surplus of total payments given to any one factor of production (land, labour, capital) over and above its ‘transfer earnings’

  • The excess or surplus of total payments given to any one factor of production (land, labour, capital) over and above its ‘transfer earnings’

  • Transfer earnings: the payment required to keep that factor of production in one use and to prevent its transfer to another use

  • Opportunity cost: the cost of doing A is the benefit forgone, earnings not received, by doing B: i.e., transferring that factor from A use to B use



Thus economic rent is the extra amount of payment that a factor production receives over and above its transfer earnings:

  • Thus economic rent is the extra amount of payment that a factor production receives over and above its transfer earnings:

  • For Ricardo’s agrarian model: that land had only one use --- growing grains → so: no ‘transfer earnings’ were possible

  • Thus: all rent is surplus to what was necessary to keep that land in its present use growing grain

  • The difference between the market price for grain and the costs of producing it was therefore pure economic rent, which was expropriated by the landlord

  • The tenant would stay on the land so long as his own ‘transfer earnings’ were met: so long as he earned enough not to seek alternative employment.



(1) GRAIN PRICES WILL RISE

  • (1) GRAIN PRICES WILL RISE

  • (2) LAND RENTS WILL ALSO RISE - BECAUSE OF THE INCREASES IN ECONOMIC RENT

  • (3) REAL WAGES WILL FALL:

  • - because of the rise in the cost of living

  • - because of changes in the land: labour ratio, leading to a fall in the marginal productivity of labour



Real wages are determined by the marginal revenue product of labour,

  • Real wages are determined by the marginal revenue product of labour,

  • which depends on changes in values of products produced and sold on the market

  • -in theory, population growth reduces the MP of labour (see: DIMINISHING RETURNS)

  • RW = MRP (L) – or:

  • RW = NWI/CPI





(1) GRAIN PRICES WILL FALL

  • (1) GRAIN PRICES WILL FALL

  • as higher-cost marginal lands fall out of production and grain is produced on better quality, lower cost lands, with less labour

  • and on lands closer to the market

  • (2) LAND RENTS WILL ALSO FALL:

  • as declining prices reduce the difference between the market price and production costs



(3) REAL WAGES WILL RISE:

  • (3) REAL WAGES WILL RISE:

  • - as the cost of living falls: with lower priced grains supplied to the market

  • as the marginal productivity of labour rises

  • i.e., since fewer persons (units of labour) are needed to produce a given quantity of grain for the market:

  • See LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS



According to both David Ricardo and Karl Marx, the landlord, as the unchallenged owner of the lands, captured all the economic rent

  • According to both David Ricardo and Karl Marx, the landlord, as the unchallenged owner of the lands, captured all the economic rent

  • He could supposedly evict all tenants who refused to pay and replace them with others

  • In historical fact, however, that never happened: an examination of medieval feudalism and manorial farming: demonstrates that those rents were shared between landlords and tenants



FEUDALISM, MANORIALISM, SERFDOM: are topics in which these issues will be more fully explored (under Agriculture).

  • FEUDALISM, MANORIALISM, SERFDOM: are topics in which these issues will be more fully explored (under Agriculture).

  • Surprising anomaly:

  • manorial courts fixed ‘customary rents’ in nominal money terms (next topic) in perpetuity (inheritance)

  • so that population growth and thus rising grain prices meant that such ‘customary’ tenants captured all the economic rents – at expense of landlords

  • The landlord reaction: to alter manorial structures (landlord-tenants relationships) in order to convert customary peasant tenures into short-term leaseholds



MALTHUS TYPE I: PROVIDENTIAL OR POSITIVE CHECKS

  • MALTHUS TYPE I: PROVIDENTIAL OR POSITIVE CHECKS

  • Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: war, famine, plague (pestilence) and ??

  • endogenous: results of Malthusian overpopulation?

  • or exogenous shocks to the economy?

  • Malthus: not the most important type of demographic checks in European history









MALTHUS TYPE II: PRUDENTIAL OR PREVENTIVE

  • MALTHUS TYPE II: PRUDENTIAL OR PREVENTIVE

  • Demographic self controls on fertility: by marrying later, with sexual abstinence

  • ‘moral restraints’ on sexual behaviour

  • What about contraception – birth control?

  • NO: Malthus was a Protestant clergymen when Protestants were as opposed to artificial birth controls as were Roman Catholics;

  • Infanticide: was also, needless to say, not acceptable!



DEATH RATES: usually more important than birth rates: since birth rates were normally 25 to 35 per thousand,

  • DEATH RATES: usually more important than birth rates: since birth rates were normally 25 to 35 per thousand,

  • while medieval death rates could soar from 25 to 400/1000 (Black Death)

  • birth rates became more important at outset of the modern Industrial Revolution :

  • accounting for 70% of population growth from the 1760s to the 1830s

  • Why?: the later European Marriage Pattern

  • Today in Canada: BR is 11/1000; DR is 7/1000





Chief medieval diseases:

  • Chief medieval diseases:

  • plague (bubonic, pneumonic, septicaemic),

  • pneumonia, dysentery, typhus, leprosy, and tuberculois (and influenza??)

  • Early-modern and modern diseases:

  • syphilis, small pox, and

  • then cholera (late 18th, 19th centuries)



Medieval & early-modern view:

  • Medieval & early-modern view:

  • Miasma theory: diseases came from noxious vapours in atmosphere: from 12th century

  • not until scientific experiments of Koch (German) and Pasteur (French) in 1870s did we know the bacterial causes of diseases

  • Modern Reality (from 1870s):

  • water supplies and sewage: chief vectors for transmission of bacterial diseases



  • (1) The Justinian Plague: ca. 540 – ca. 750

  • the First Pandemic: named after Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-565 CE): from 6th to 8th centuries: in Asia, Africa, and Europe

  • (2) The medieval Black Death: from late 1347 to about 1733: (revisit this next term)

  • the Second Pandemic: disappearing from western Europe 1730s, it remained in the Russian and Ottoman Empires to the 1820s



(3) The Third Pandemic: 1894 - 1947

  • (3) The Third Pandemic: 1894 - 1947

  • modern bubonic plague: afflicted Asia – especially China and India

  • - still remains endemic in Asia, SW United States

  • provided modern medical knowledge of bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis)

  • - but very different from the medieval and Justinian plagues. WHY?



(1) Bubonic Plague: 60% to 80% mortalities

  • (1) Bubonic Plague: 60% to 80% mortalities

  • May have killed 40% of European population in the mid 14th century

  • Causes?

  • Supposedly the plague bacillus (bacteria) known as Yersinia pestis, absorbed by blood-sucking fleas (Xenopylla cheopis, Nosopsyllus fasciatus),

  • fleas that were parasitic on black rats

  • did not attack humans so long as there were ample rats

  • Pulex Irritans: the role of human fleas??? Disputed



(2) Pneumonic Plague:

  • (2) Pneumonic Plague:

  • with mortalities up to 99%

  • killed rich and poor alike, healthy and infirm

  • Spread by sputum and human breath: from the lungs

  • Evidently a mutation of bubonic plague

  • How common is matter of great dispute



(3) Septicaemic Plague:

  • (3) Septicaemic Plague:

  • - mortalities up to 90%

  • - infection from bacteria in the blood stream:

  • - from open sores and wounds

  • - apparently, very rare: past and present



In the Third Pandemic (1894-1947), all Indian villagers knew when bubonic plague was coming: from the presence of thousands of dead rats on village roads and fields

  • In the Third Pandemic (1894-1947), all Indian villagers knew when bubonic plague was coming: from the presence of thousands of dead rats on village roads and fields

  • Note: rat fleas will not attack humans - unless there are not enough rats left alive

  • But no medieval chronicler, nor medieval records, indicate the presence of any rats, let alone dead rats, in plague infested areas



Third Pandemic: 1894 – 1947

  • Third Pandemic: 1894 – 1947

  • plague travelled very, very slowly, with low mortalities (under 10%)

  • Followed grain supply routes: which fed rats

  • But medieval Black Death spread like wild-fire across almost all of Europe, within two years; and with no relation to the grain trades

  • With high mortalities – killing 40%-50%



Transmission Problems with rats and fleas

  • Transmission Problems with rats and fleas

  • Rats do not travel far,

  • and travel slowly

  • fleas also do not travel, do not leave their hosts (rats or humans)

  • most fleas infected with plague bacteria will die with a matter of days: esophagus severed

  • fleas do not hibernate with plague bacteria





(1) Samuel Cohn:

  • (1) Samuel Cohn:

  • has convincingly raised all these problems:

  • does not believe that the Black Death was pneumonic plague,

  • nor that the plague flea was Pulex irritans

  • (2) John Kelly, John Theilman, Frances Cate:

  • - Black Death was bubonic plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, but a far more virulent form:

  • - but they do not explain how it spread!!

  • (3) Ole Benedictow: ignores Cohn & others



Warfare: endemic, a spreading stain, from the 1290s to the 1450s, in western Europe:

  • Warfare: endemic, a spreading stain, from the 1290s to the 1450s, in western Europe:

  • 1290s a major turning point: warfare across most of Europe and Mediterranean led into better known Hundred Years War (1337-1453)

  • Wars: not major killers in terms of battle deaths,

  • but were in terms of wounds & diseases, and in causing famines

  • Warfare: disrupted food production and trade

  • polluted water supplies: rotting bodies



Famines: often a serious threat, but not often major killers

  • Famines: often a serious threat, but not often major killers

  • Famines resulted from adverse climate changes : bad weather → too wet, too dry

  • Or from disruptions to both agricultural production and trade: especially from warfare

  • Great Famine of 1315 – 1322: fortuitous result of temporary climatic changes?

  • Chronic malnutrition: more serious factor, reducing resistance to diseases



Famine, malnutrition, diseases (especially plague) often seriously reduced fertility:

  • Famine, malnutrition, diseases (especially plague) often seriously reduced fertility:

  • - amenorrhea (disruption of menstrual cycle)

  • High infant mortalities from malnutrition and diseases (esp. plague)

  • effectively reduced the ‘live birth’ rate and thus the replacement rate to produce new generations of surviving children

  • Maternal mortalities: dying in child birth: not as much as often imagined, but a problem



John Hajnal: “The marriage pattern of most of Europe [except eastern Europe], as it existed for about two centuries up to 1940 was… unique. There is no known example of a non European civilization which has had a similar pattern.”

  • John Hajnal: “The marriage pattern of most of Europe [except eastern Europe], as it existed for about two centuries up to 1940 was… unique. There is no known example of a non European civilization which has had a similar pattern.”

  • Prudential or Preventive checks to population growth: for Malthus, key to demographic problem – anticipating concept of the EME



The European Marriage Pattern in the 19th century: Europe west of the line from Saint Petersburg (Russia) to Trieste (Italy)

  • The European Marriage Pattern in the 19th century: Europe west of the line from Saint Petersburg (Russia) to Trieste (Italy)



known as Low Pressure Demographic System

  • known as Low Pressure Demographic System

  • (1) Nuptiality: a high age of first marriage for women: in late 20s or early 30s

  • (2) Celibacy: a significant proportion of women who never married: from 15% to 30%

  • (3) Nuclear families: father, mother, children –and relatively few children

  • (4) Wealth and Incomes: help determine age of first marriage and family size



post-Black Death phenomenon: may be related to origins of the EMP

  • post-Black Death phenomenon: may be related to origins of the EMP

  • With growing scarcity of labour, many rural households began hiring young people – chiefly teenage women – to assist in agricultural tasks

  • Lived as members of the (nuclear) family while doing farming tasks

  • Received board, room, clothing, annual salary



Condition of Service: that they not marry (or procreate) while living in the household as servants

  • Condition of Service: that they not marry (or procreate) while living in the household as servants

  • Thus: such women might work as agricultural servants to their late 20s: then retire with substantial cash dowries

  • major factor in delaying the age of marriage

  • - to the late 20s



known as: High Pressure Demographic System

  • known as: High Pressure Demographic System

  • Prevailed in all the ancient world, in all of Europe before the early modern era, in eastern Europe until the 20th century, and in all of the rest of the world (Asia, Africa, Americas)

  • UMP: for both nuptiality and celibacy

  • Almost ALL women married

  • Almost ALL women married by late teens













- Universal Marriage Pattern: is disappearing, but with widely varying patterns

  • - Universal Marriage Pattern: is disappearing, but with widely varying patterns

  • - depends in part on marriage customs: continuation of parentally arranged marriages vs. freely chosen marriages

  • JAPAN: with far greater economic and personal independence, and higher education, Japanese women are marrying later – if at all – around 30

  • - about a third of women remain unmarried







(1) High pressure demographic regimes

  • (1) High pressure demographic regimes

  • Universal Marriage Pattern

  • -fertility at its biological maximum: in the late teens, early twenties

  • -therefore mortality is the governing factor

  • (2) Low pressure demographic regimes

  • - EMP: mortality and fertility fairly low

  • But fertility the more dynamic factor, with changes in both nuptiality and celibacy



earlier marriages, with more time for procreation, led to larger families, especially in eras of low life expectancies

  • earlier marriages, with more time for procreation, led to larger families, especially in eras of low life expectancies

  • Fertility: is much, much higher in late teens, low 20s; and falls very sharply in the 30s

  • -these findings are also borne out by recent Canadian studies:

  • From ages 20-24 to 35-39, the live birth rate falls by 39.4% : from 409/1000 to 248/1000





(1) sterility and amenorrhea: as discussed

  • (1) sterility and amenorrhea: as discussed

  • (2) contraception: evidently widely practised, especially coitus interruptus (onanism)

  • (3) sodomy (aka: buggery: anal intercourse)

  • (4) condoms: from the 16th century (sheepskin)

  • Illegitimacy? - accounted for 10% of all first births, but only 1% - 4% of total births: most pre-marital pregnancies led to marriage



EMP: lower birth rates better preserved the health of both women and children

  • EMP: lower birth rates better preserved the health of both women and children

  • i.e., smaller families better ensured higher living standards – or reduced malnutrition

  • The concept of the EMP is implicit in Malthus:

  • as the primary form of the Prudential checks that prevented ‘Malthusian Crises’ of overpopulation (and thus higher mortalities)

  • But when and where did the EMP begin??





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