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Institutions, culture and the onset of the demographic transition

Alberto Basso () and David Cuberes ()
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Alberto Basso: Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico

Working Papers. Serie AD from Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie)

Abstract: This paper uses new estimates of the dates on which different countries experienced their demographic transition to examine the main historical determinants of these transitions. Our results indicate that countries with better historical institutions reached the onset of the transition earlier. This is the case after controlling for the effects of geography, climate, religion, and legal origins. We distinguish between the roles played by formal and informal institutions, where the latter are proxied by culture, using the genetic distance between populations from Spolaore and Wacziarg (2009). We find that both types of institutions are significant predictors of the timing of demographic transition. Our results are robust to endogeneity issues, measurement error, and alternative specifications.

Keywords: institutions; culture; demographic transition; unified growth theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J10 N10 O18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2011-06
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http://www.ivie.es/downloads/docs/wpasad/wpasad-2011-13.pdf Fisrt version / Primera version, 2011 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2011-13

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