Other Paper

Rural exodus and fertility at the time of industrialization

Baudin, T., Stelter, R.
IRES discussion papers 2016/20
71 pages.
Louvain-la-Neuve, Catholic University of Louvain (2016)
Open Access


We propose a unified model of economic growth where people decide not only about fertility and education but also whether or not to migrate to the city or alternatively to the countryside. Using the simulated method of moments and an original set of Danish data, we calibrate our model to evaluate the relative contributions of the rural exodus and mortality reductions to economic growth and the fertility transition. We find, in line with Galor (2005), that the reduction of infant mortality has not been a major driver of the Danish economic take-off while the rural exodus, complementing technological progress, has been a workhorse of the economic and demographic revolution of Denmark.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.