Saturday, 5 July 2008

An economic model of bastards

Right, down to the boat, so I don't have time to do this justice today. But for any of you who are interested, I recommend the ISER's 2006 paper 'An Economic History of Bastardy in England and Wales'.

In particular, the identity

bastards /(1000-bastards) = (U / M)(fu / fm)

is an elegant thing indeed.


Anonymous said...

bastards /(1000-bastards) = (U / M)(fu / fm)

So if there are a 1000 fatherless children

1000/(1000 - 1000) = ∞

Beyond a critical mass of unsanity?
Does this mean there will be gang killings, people demanding "respect", and the purchasing of jewellery and fashion items?

Raedwald said...

Good point. 'bastards' is actually shorthand for 'illegitimate births per 1,000 live births' - currently around 430 I think, so it's really 430/(1000-430) = 0.75, but there's no reason why 'bastards' shouldn't rise to 1000 .....