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Neil Cummins is Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Queens College of the City University of New York, Flushing, NY 11367. E-mail: This dissertation was completed at the Department of Economic History, London School of Economics under the supervision of Max-Stephan Schulze and Rebecca Sear. The author is grateful to George Alter, Dudley Baines, Pierre-Cyrille Hautcur, Gilles Postel-Vinay, Greg Clark, Max-Stephan Schulze, Rebecca Sear, Cormac O'Grada and Eddie Hunt for advice and suggestions. The author acknowledges financial support from the European Commission through a Marie Curie Fellowship, funded through a Stephen Broadberry and Kevin O'Rourke led Research Training Network entitled “Unifying the European Experience: Historical Lessons of Pan-European Development” (Project #:512439).

1 Summarized in Coale and Watkins, Decline of Fertility in Europe.

2 Brown and Guinnane, “Regions and Time.”

3 The robustness checks included comparing the sex ratio of mentioned children in the wills with that of the general population (to reveal sex-based omission from a will—none was found). Comparisons were also made using the marriage characteristics, occupational representativeness, and the net reproduction rate of the testator sample compared with that of the general population. The sample was biased towards those with high-status occupations but the testator fertility rates closely track those of the population Net Reproduction Rate estimates. (The average difference between the measures for the cohort years of 1750–1850 is slightly over 1 percent.) This evidence confirms the reliability and validity of the testator wills as a source for the calculation of relative fertility levels.

4 I employed the occupational classification schema devised by Stevenson, a categorization based upon skill, see Stevenson, “Fertility of Various Social Classes.”

5 See Clark and Cummins, “Urbanization, Mortality, and Fertility” and “Malthus to Modernity.”

6 Institut National Etudes Demographiques.

7 Results also discussed in Cummins, “Marital Fertility.”

8 Milanovic, Lindert, and Williamson, “Measuring Ancient Inequality.”

9 Inequality is the cross-sectional analogue of social mobility. On this, see Becker and Tomes, “Equilibrium Theory.”

10 Examples of literature discussing forces similar to those proposed here are Banks, Prosperity and Parenthood (for England); Dumont, Dépopulation et Civilisation; and Blacker, “Social Ambitions” (for France).

11 Asmeasured by the relationship between father's and son's wealth.

James Fenske is University Lecturer in Economic History, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, Manor Road Building, Oxford OX1 3UQ. E-mail:

This dissertation was completed in the Department of Economics at Yale University under the direction of Timothy Guinnane.

Pilar Nogues-Marco is Assistant Professor, Department of Economic History and Institutions, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, C/Madrid 126, 28903 Getafe (Madrid), Spain. Email:

This dissertation was completed at the Sciences Po, Paris under the supervision of Marc Flandreau.

Gergely Baics is Assistant Professor of History and Urban Studies, History Department, Barnard College, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Email:

This dissertation was completed in the Department of History at Northwestern University under the supervision of Joel Mokyr (co-chair), Josef Barton (co-chair), Henry Binford, and David Van Zanten. Financial and institutional support was provided by Northwestern University, the American Council of Learned Societies, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History.

1 Thomas F. De Voe (1811–1892) published two books during his lifetime: The Market Book (1862) and The Market Assistant (1867). His unpublished records are available at the New-York Historical Society, Manuscript Collections.

2 For a general history of nineteenth-century American urban food markets, see Tangires, Public Markets and Civic Culture.

3 The deregulation of meat markets in New York City has been studied by Horowitz, Pilcher, and Watts, “Meat for the Multitudes”; Tangires, Public Markets and Civic Culture, pp. 71–94; and Beal, “Selling Gotham,” pp. 304–70.

4 The research relies on published and archival municipal records, including Common Council proceedings, Market Committee and other reports, Comptroller accounts, and hundreds of petitions to the council by local citizens. Manuscript records are available at the New York City Municipal Archives. The most important published sources are New York (N.Y.). Common Council, Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784–1831; and Matteson and New York (N.Y.). Common Council, Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1784–1831: Analytical Index.

5 The temporal analysis follows Henri Lefebvre's concept of rhythmanalysis. See Lefebvre, Writings on Cities, pp. 219–27.

6 The term “antebellum puzzle” refers to the three decades prior to the Civil War, which were characterized by the perplexing combination of rapid economic growth and growing per capita income on the one hand, and deteriorating biological standard of living, more specifically, declining physical stature and rising mortality, on the other. Scholars have proposed two distinct lines of explanation: changing diets, in particular, declining per capita protein consumption, and worsening disease environments chiefly as a result of modem urbanization. By focusing on the quantity and quality of the urban meat supply, this analysis contributes new insights to both interpretations. See Komlos, “Shrinking in a Growing Economy?”; and Haines, Craig, and Weiss, “Short and the Dead.”

7 Two sets of sources were used to estimate per capita meat consumption rates. First, market clerks prepared monthly returns of the amount of fresh beef, veal, lamb and mutton, and pork sold at the city's public markets. Their original returns survived for 1816 and 1818. Second, the Proceedings of the Common Council document how much excise taxes were collected from the city's butchers on the amount of meat sold in most of the years between 1790 and 1818. Combining these two sets of records, while also knowing the tax rates that were applied to the different kinds of meats, it becomes possible to estimate the actual volume of meat sales.

8 Horowitz, Putting Meat on the American Table, pp. 11–17.

Daniel K. Fetter is Assistant Professor, Economics Department, Wellesley College, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. E-mail:

This dissertation was completed at Harvard University under the direction of Edward Glaeser and Claudia Goldin.

1 I illustrate the age profiles in my dissertation; some past authors noting variants on this fact are Aaron, Shelter; and Collins and Margo, “Race.”

2 A classic reference is Artle and Varaiya, “Life-Cycle”; calibrations include Hayashi, Ito, and Slemrod, “Housing”; and Sheiner, “Housing.”

3 Similar variation in veteran status has been used previously to study effects of military service and benefits on income, education, and mortality. Examples include Angrist and Krueger, “Why Do”; Bedard and Deschnes, “Long-Term Impact”; and Bound and Turner, “Going.”

4 Here and elsewhere, an important caveat is that these effects are local average treatment effects, in the language of Imbens and Angrist, “Identification.”

5 The source of the SCF data is Economic Behavior Program, “Survey.”

6 Vigdor, “Liquidity,” examines the VA program and argues that relaxing liquidity constraints increases house prices. Price effects would suggest that my aggregate estimate is too high; any positive spillover effects on nonveterans could mean the estimate is too low. Vigdor also provides an estimate of the share of the 1940 to 1970 increase in home ownership attributable to the VA that is higher than mine; our findings likely differ because of our different empirical approaches.

7 This estimate is presented in U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census. While some of these units had likely been part of an “overhang” of properties foreclosed on during the Depression, I present evidence that the overhang is unlikely to explain a large share of the overall increase.

8 This argument is presented in Rosen and Rosen, “Federal.”

9 In a complementary analysis, I also show that in a larger sample of cities, predicted increases in employment are associated with greater increases in home ownership in cities facing greater geographic supply constraints, where house prices should have been more sensitive to demand shocks. I calculate predicted employment along the lines of Bartik, Who Benefits; and use measures of geographic supply constraints from Saiz, “Geographic.”

10 This explanation was common at the time; one reference is Friedman and Stigler, “Roofs.”

Marianne Wanamaker is Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 524 Stokely Management Center, Knoxville, TN 37996-0550. E-mail:

This dissertation was completed at Northwestern University under the supervision of Joseph Ferrie and Joel Mokyr.

1 See Becker, “Economic Analysis” and “Theory of Allocation.”

2 See McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds; Ransom and Sutch, One Kind of Freedom; and Margo, “North-South Wage Gap.”

3 See Becker and Lewis, “On the Interaction”; and Galor and Weil, “Population.”

4 See Doepke, “Accounting for Fertility.”

5 See Becker, Hornung, and Woessmann, “Catch Me.”

6 See Carlton, Mill; and Wright, “Cheap Labor.”

1 Galor, “Stagnation to Growth.”

2 Guinnane, Okun, and Trussell, “What Do We Know”; and Guinnane, “Historical Fertility Transition.”

3 Clark and Hamilton, “Survival of the Richest.”

4 Chesnais, Demographic Transition.

5 Sokoloff and Engerman, “History Lessons.”

6 Nunn, “Long-Term Effects.”

7 Ibid.; and Nunn and Puga, “Ruggedness.”

8 Lagerlof, “Slavery”; and Domar, “Causes of Slavery.”

9 Hamilton, American Treasure.


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