Fertility, Modernization, Religion and Land Availability in Transylvania, 1900-1910

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Abstract: The period of 1880-1910 was a time of fast modernization and industrialization in Transylvania. Fertility decline only started in the South, while in the North there was a marked fertility increase. This paper attempts to explain these differences, using a cross-sectional analysis of fertility for 4112 Transylvanian settlements. The factors affecting fertility are modeled using the Eastrelin-Crimmins framework. The results show that an explanation placing economic factors (demand and supply) in first place, but accepting the secondary role of innovation factors as barriers to implement fertility regulation, fits the data about Transylvania well. This is in contrast with previous research results, which could not show the effect of some socio-economic variables on fertility, due to the high level of aggregation. They favoured cultural explanations, and shown Hungary as an exception to the rules of demographic transition. In contrast, this paper shows that the classic explanatory factors like infant mortality, migration, literacy, and secularisation do explain fertility differentials in Transylvania at the turn of the 20th century.

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