Using a unique, comprehensive household-level dataset for a single French village, we study the process of modernization during a period of rapid institutional and demographic transformation. We document changes in fertility, mortality, literacy and intergenerational social mobility. The fall in fertility followed the French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment, and preceded the rise in education by several decades. Rising literacy followed an increase in the supply of schooling due to the Guizot Law. All these changes occurred in the absence of industrialization in and around the village. We conclude that institutional and cultural changes originating outside the village were likely the dominant forces accounting for its modernization.
- Demographic transition
- human capital