Malthusian Models and Irish History

Joel Mokyr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malthusian models occupy a central position in the interpretation and analysis of long-term economic and demographic change in preindustrial societies. The models are logically plausible and attractive, but ultimately they will have to be confronted with systematic evidence before being accepted. In this paper results are reported that cast some doubt on these models in the case of prefamine Ireland. The results indicate that the evidence supporting Malthusian views is not strong, and that the modus operandi of the nexus between economic and demographic variables is probably far more complex than is implied in standard Malthusian models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Economic History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes


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