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Cinnirella, Francesco; Klemp, Marc; Weisdorf, Jacob (2017): Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as Birth Control in Pre-Transition England. In: Demography, Vol. 54, No. 2: pp. 413-436
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We use duration models on a well-known historical data set of more than 15,000 families and 60,000 births in England for the period 1540-1850 to show that the sampled families adjusted the timing of their births in accordance with the economic conditions as well as their stock of dependent children. The effects were larger among the lower socioeconomic ranks. Our findings on the existence of parity-dependent as well as parity-independent birth spacing in England are consistent with the growing evidence that marital birth control was present in pre-transitional populations.