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The Demographic Transition in Colombia: Theory and Evidence

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  • Daniel Mejía

    ()

  • María Teresa Ramírez

    ()

  • Jorge Tamayo

    ()

Abstract

The demographic transition from high to low mortality and fertility rates was one of the most important structural changes during the twentieth Century in most Latin American economies. This paper uses a simple economic framework based on Galor and Weil (2000) for understanding the main forces behind this structural transition; namely, increases in the returns to human capital accumulation driven by continuous advances in productivity led families to reduce the number of offspring and increase the level of investment in their education. As a result, the economy transits from a stage of stagnation subject to Malthusian forces to a stage of sustained economic growth, where increases in productivity lead to improvements in living standards. We use available data for Colombia between 1905 and 2005 to test the main predictions of the model with time series analysis, finding empirical evidence in their favor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA in its series BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA with number 005128.

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Length: 35
Date of creation: 11 Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:col:000094:005128

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Keywords: Economic Growth; Demographic Transition; Colombia.;

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  1. Broadberry Stephen, 2012. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Very Long Run Growth: A Historical Appraisal," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 53(1), pages 277-306, May.
  2. María Teresa Ramírez G. & Juana Patricia Téllez C., . "La educación primaria y secundaria en Colombia en el siglo XX," Borradores de Economia 379, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  3. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport, Institute for Futures Studies 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
  4. Rodrigo R. Soares & Bruno L. S. Falcão, 2008. "The Demographic Transition and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1058-1104, December.
  5. Galor, Oded, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2008-2, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, 09.
  8. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  9. George Hondroyiannis & Evangelia Papapetrou, 2002. "Demographic transition and economic growth: Empirical evidence from Greece," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 221-242.
  10. Michael Bar & Oksana Leukhina, 2009. "Supplemental Notes to "Demographic transition and industrial revolution: A macroeconomic investigation"," Technical Appendices, Review of Economic Dynamics 08-85, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  11. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2004. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings, Econometric Society 9, Econometric Society.
  12. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Miguel Urrutia & Mauricio Ruíz, 2010. "Ciento setenta años de salarios reales en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE 007090, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  2. Jorge Andrés Tamayo Castaño, 2012. "Asimetrías en la demanda por trabajo en Colombia: el papel del ciclo económico," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA 009286, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.

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