top of page

Research Papers

You can find here the academic publications related to FaMiGrowth. Non academic publications can be found in the media section.

The Emergence of the Child Quantity-Quality Tradeoff - insights from early modern academics

We examine the relationship between family size and human capital among aca- demics in Northern Europe over the two centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution. To measure scholars' human capital, we develop a novel and consistent approach based on their publications. We 􏰂nd that scholars with a high number of publications shifted from having more siblings to having fewer than others during the 􏰂rst half of the 18th century. This shift is consistent with an evolutionary growth model in which the ini- tial Malthusian constraint leads the high human capital families to reproduce more, before being endogenously substituted by a Beckerian constraint with a child quality- quantity tradeo􏰀. Our results support a reinterpretation of the Galor and Moav (2002)'s approach, in which the decline of Malthusian constraints is linked to human capital ac- cumulation during the 18th century.

by Thomas Baudin and David de la Croix

Kinder, Küche und Kirche,
Family policies and fertility in the Third Reich

After coming to power in 1933, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party employed propaganda to reinforce the dominance of the Aryan Volk and swiftly implemented a series of economic and proactive family policies. Among these measures, the ’Law for the Encouragement of Marriage’ emerged as one of the most far-reaching and distortionary policies in the history of family policy. Its primary aim was to restrict women’s labor force participation in order to alleviate unemployment and promote the growth of the Aryan population. We evaluate the impact of National Socialism on marital fertility in (West) Germany by analyzing census data from 1933, 1939, and 1970. Our findings indicate that the first years of domination by the Nazis are associated with a transitory increase in fertility until 1938. Importantly, German women who were fully exposed to the Nazi family policies experienced a smaller rise in marital fertility as measured in 1938, compared to their compatriots who had only partial exposure. This relative decline can be attributed to the severe penalties imposed on childless, unmarried individuals, which incentivized Germans to enter into lower-quality and less fertile unions. The negative selection effect, depressing fertility, persisted until 1970, and represents the primary legacy of Nazism on the fertility of German women.

by Thomas Baudin and Robert Stelter

Learning from our ancestors:
Using crowdsourced historical data for empirical research

by Diego Alburez-Gutierrez, Thomas Baudin, Matthew Curtis, Paula Gobbi, Simone Moriconi and Robert Stelter

Along recent years, social scientists have developed a strong interest for crowdsourced genealogical data. In this paper, we exploit a unique dataset corresponding to the universe of family trees coming from as they stand in January 2022. We develop a data treatment process allowing to identify and potentially repair data quality issues. We identify a series of important biases affecting the quality of genealogical data and give examples of their severity. Most of the time, these biases refrain from considering genealogical samples as representative samples of populations from the past. Nevertheless, we show that, under some conditions, these biases don't prevent the inference of causal relationships. This result opens the door to new avenues of research in economic history for periods not covered by classical datasources such as censuses.

bottom of page