The Economic History Review

Rebuttal to Barnes and Guinnane

Volume 70 Issue 3
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Pages: 1010-1013Authors: Simon Szreter
Published online: May 5, 2017DOI: 10.1111/ehr.12420

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Barnes and Guinnane’s ‘Rejoinder’ repeats their previous argument that the professional model of fertility decline produces statistical results which they see as impressive. They continue to ignore the evidence presented in part II of Fertility, class and gender, summarized in my reply to their original article, that the design of the model is both conceptually flawed and methodologically incoherent. It is reaffirmed that therefore its statistical results should be treated with all due scepticism in terms of their historical significance and capacity to inform us about the relationship between changing reproductive behaviour and the complexities of social class relations. Alternative approaches, liberated from the simplifying limitations of the professional model, are required to advance our understanding of the relationship between fertility change and social class.