The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Historical Demography

  • Carl Mosk
Reference work entry


Historical demography deals with population dynamics prior to and during early phases of industrialization. Using family reconstruction historical methodology, demographers have found partial answers to Malthusian questions revolving around mortality and fertility rates in religious records yielding estimates for marriage, life expectancy and reproduction within marriage. Employing cause of death estimates and Hutterite index measures for the proportion of women married and the level of their reproduction within marriage, historical demographers have developed tentative answers to demographic transition queries. Historical demography has contributed much to our understanding of historical population dynamics.


Black Death Child labour Climate Demographic transition European Fertility Project Family reconstitution method Fertility Fertility transition Food prices Henry, L. Historical demography Homeostatic equilibrium Industrialization Industrial revolution Iron law of wages Malthus, T. R. Malthusian economy Marriage Mortality Population dynamics Population growth 

JEL Classifications

J10 N3 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl Mosk
    • 1
  1. 1.