Malthus in preindustrial Northern Italy?

Maja Pedersen, Claudia Riani, Paul Sharp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The Malthusian model, which implies a long-run interaction between demography and living standards, forms a cornerstone of our understanding of comparative economic development, as postulated by unified growth theory. Its empirical validity has been supported by a number of studies, most of which examine England. In Northern Italy, however, there might have been a reversed “preventive check.” We employ a cointegrated VAR model on Italian data from ca. 1650–1799 and find some evidence for this, but also for diminishing returns and thus a more “Malthusian” society than in, for example, England at that time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Population Economics
Pages (from-to)1003-1026
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Cointegration
  • Italy
  • J1
  • Malthusian
  • N33
  • O4
  • Post-Malthusian


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