Saturday, April 29, 2006

Long Term Fluctations in Climate and Population

The history of thought seems riddled with injustice. Some names shine with a brilliance which is scarcely merited, while others, who are truly innovative and creative remain in an obscurity which is often hard to understand. My feeling is that the name Patrick R Galloway is one which belongs to this latter group.

Long-Term Fluctuations in Climate and Population in the Preindustrial Era
Patrick R. Galloway, Population and Development Review, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Mar., 1986) , pp. 1-24


Advances in climatological history have yielded new evidence to support the view that climate has been an important influence on long-run demographic fluctuations. A model is proposed in which long-term changes in climate affect population growth directly through the effect of variations in temperature on vital rates and indirectly through its effect on food supply. The model is tested using data from western Europe, China, and middle latitude marginal areas. Over the long term, periods of cooling appear to be strongly associated with periods of depressed population growth.

Basic Patterns in Annual Variations in Fertility, Nuptiality, Mortality, and Prices in Pre-industrial Europe, Patrick R. Galloway, Population Studies, Volume 42, Number 2 / July 1988, Pages: 275 - 303


Examination of the responses of vital rates to variations in grain prices in nine pre-industrial European countries confirms the existence of the short-term Malthusian preventive and positive checks. The structure and magnitude of the preventive check are strikingly similar in all countries and all periods. On the other hand, the strength of the positive check varies widely and in remarkable accord with measures of economic development. The size of the positive relative to the preventive check diminishes as economic development increases. Among the countries examined, differences in the response of population growth rates to price fluctuations can be attributed primarily to differences in the strength of the positive check.

Patrick R. Galloway, Differentials in demographic responses to annual price variations in pre-revolutionary France A comparison of rich and poor areas in rouen, 1681 to 1787, European Journal of Population, Volume 2, Numbers 3-4, May 1987, Pages: 269 - 305

Abstract An examination of the annual responses of vital events to variations in wheat prices among groups of parishes in the city of Rouen from 1681 to 1787 reveals significant differences between rich and poor parishes in the strength of the preventive check. The urban poor respond to a price increase by dramatically decreasing fertility, while the fertility of the urban wealthy is virtually unaffected. An increase in prices is associated with relatively large increases in mortality, suggesting a strong positive check. However, little difference can be found between the rich and poor areas in the magnitude or timing of mortality responses to price variations.

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