64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
Institutional Affiliation: Brown University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2019||Change and Persistence in the Age of Modernization: Saint-Germain-d'Anxure 1730-1895|
with Romain Wacziarg: w25490
Using a unique, comprehensive household-level dataset for a single French village from 1730 to 1895, we study the process of modernization during a period of rapid institutional and demographic transformation. We document changes in fertility, mortality, human capital and intergenerational mobility, looking for structural breaks associated with the French Revolution and paying close attention to the sequencing of changes associated with various aspects of modernization in the village. We find that the fall in fertility preceded the rise in education by several decades. Demographic change is plausibly associated with institutional and cultural change rather than with changes in the opportunity cost of children. The rise in education occurred mostly as the result of an increase in the supply...