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Genetics, Family Structure, and Economic Growth

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  • Paul J. Zak

    (Claremont Graduate University)

Abstract

Recent biomedical research shows that roughly three-quarters of cognitive abilities are attributable to genetics and family environment. This paper presents a theory of growth in which human capital is determined by inheritable factors and family size. The distribution of income is shown to affect the number of births, with greater inequality raising the fertility rates and reducing output growth in the transitional dynamics. If human or physical stocks are sufficiently low, the model shows that an economy can be caught in a fertility-caused poverty trap, while countries with more resources will converge to a balanced growth path where the average transmission of human capital from parents to childern determines the long-run rate of output growth.

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File URL: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/2000-21.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Claremont Colleges in its series Claremont Colleges Working Papers with number 2000-21.

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Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2000-21

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Keywords: genetics; siblings; growth; fertility; human capital;

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References

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  1. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1413, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  4. Zak, Paul J. & Feng, Yi & Kugler, Jacek, 2002. "Immigration, fertility, and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 547-576, April.
  5. Stokey, Nancy L, 1996. " Free Trade, Factor Returns, and Factor Accumulation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 421-47, December.
  6. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1999. "Technological Change and Wages: An Interindustry Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 285-325, April.
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  8. Charles I. Jones, . "Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth," Working Papers 98014, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  9. Rubinstein, Yona & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1999. "Coping with Technological Progress: The Role of Ability in Making Inequality so Persistent," CEPR Discussion Papers 2153, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 1996. "Economics in a Family Way," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1903-1934, December.
  11. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert F. Tamura, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. " The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 93-124, March.
  13. Eric W. Bond & Ping Wang & Chong K. Yip, 1993. "A general two-sector model of endogenous growth with human and physical capital: balanced growth and transitional dynamics," Research Paper 9324, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  14. 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.
  15. Dahan, Momi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1998. " Demographic Transition, Income Distribution, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 29-52, March.
  16. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191, November.
  17. Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Inflation and Economic Growth," CEMA Working Papers 568, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  18. Paul Zak & Rick Geddes, . "The Rule of One-Third," Gruter Institute Working Papers on Law, Economics, and Evolutionary Biology 1-1-1004, Berkeley Electronic Press.
  19. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
  20. Ted Bergstrom, . "On the Evolution of Altruistic Ethical Rules for Siblings," Papers _023, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  21. Stephen Knack, 2001. "Aid Dependence and the Quality of Governance: Cross-Country Empirical Tests," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 310-329, October.
  22. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  23. Galor, Oded & Zang, Hyoungsoo, 1997. "Fertility, income distribution, and economic growth: Theory and cross-country evidence," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 197-229, May.
  24. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  25. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-64, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Ibragimov, Rustam, 2008. "A Tale of Two Tails: Peakedness Properties in Inheritance Models of Evolutionary Theory," Scholarly Articles 2624003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Paul J. Zak & Kwang Woo Park, . "Population Genetics and Economic Growth," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-20, Claremont Colleges.
  3. Yi Feng & Jacek Kugler & Paul Zak, . "The Path to Prosperity: A Political Model of Demographic Change," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-23, Claremont Colleges.

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