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Survival of the Confucians: social status and fertility in China, 1400-1900

Hu, Sijie (2020) Survival of the Confucians: social status and fertility in China, 1400-1900. Economic History Working Papers (307). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper uses the genealogical records of 35,691 men to test one of the fundamental assumptions of the Malthusian model. Did higher living standards result in increased net reproduction? An empirical investigation of China between 1400 and 1900 finds a positive relationship between social status and fertility. The gentry scholars, the Confucians, produced three times as many sons as the commoners, and this status effect on fertility was stronger in the post-1600 period than in the pre-1600 period. The effect disappears once I control for the number of marriages. Increased marriages among upper-class males drove reproductive success in Imperial China. The results add a demographic perspective to explain the lack of modern economic growth in Imperial China.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/Economic-History/Working-Pape...
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J12 - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N35 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Asia including Middle East
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2020 09:06
Last Modified: 29 May 2020 23:37
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/104040

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