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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Modeling the large-scale demographic changes of the Old World

  • Author(s): Bennett, James
  • et al.

I investigate the predictive behavior of a simple demographic model for agrarian empires in several Old World geographies between 1500BCE and 1500CE. I estimate and bound key model parameters from two historical datasets. I find that quasi-uniform carrying capacities and two net birth rates suffice to predict most Old World agrarian empire demographics in this period. Analysis suggests that a doubling of agricultural intensification occurred throughout most of the Old World circa 1000CE.

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