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Journal Article

From Malthusian Frontier to Demographic Steady State: The Concordian Birth Rate, 1635-1993

Brian J. L. Berry
Population and Development Review
Vol. 22, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), pp. 207-229
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2137433
https://www.jstor.org/stable/2137433
Page Count: 23
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From Malthusian Frontier to Demographic Steady State: The Concordian Birth Rate, 1635-1993
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Abstract

An exceptionally early and rapid fertility decline was achieved in Concord, Massachusetts by 1815. This decline was succeeded by a new demographic regime characterized by remarkable cyclical responsiveness to macroeconomic and macropolitical events. The evidence for declining fertility during the eighteenth century is consistent with so-called Malthusian-Frontier explanations of colonial-era demography, whereas the nineteenth-century responsiveness to economic and political change reveals a much earlier onset of Easterlin fertility cycles than has previously been postulated. The transition from the first to the second regime followed the emergence of a market economy in rural Massachusetts in the decade after the American Revolution.