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From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?

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  • Nils-Petter Lagerl–f
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    Abstract

    We model demographic and economic long-run development in a setting where mortality is endogenous and subject to epidemic shocks. The model replicates the full transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern growth. Consistent with the historical facts, the economy also passes an intermediate post-Malthusian phase where growth rates of both population and per capita income increase simultaneously, as mortality rates fall and become less volatile. The escape from the Malthusian trap is the result of a series of mild epidemic shocks, making it inevitable at some stage, but its timing random. Calibrations show that it can differ by thousands of generations, absent differences in exogenous parameters. Copyright 2003 By The Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (05)
    Pages: 755-777

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    Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:44:y:2003:i:2:p:755-777

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    1. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-59, October.
    2. Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Learning in Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 254-277, September.
    3. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
    4. Robert E. Lucas, 2000. "Some Macroeconomics for the 21st Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 159-168, Winter.
    5. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
    6. Tamura, Robert, 1996. "From decay to growth: A demographic transition to economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1237-1261.
    7. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    8. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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