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The Simplest Unified Growth Theory

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  • Strulik, Holger
  • Weisdorf, Jacob

Abstract

This paper provides a unified growth theory, i.e. a model that explains the very long-run economic and demographic development path of industrialized economies, stretching from the pre-industrial era to present-day and beyond. Making strict use of Malthus’ (1798) so-called preventive check hypothesis - that fertility rates vary inversely with the price of food - the current study offers a new and straightforward explanation for the demographic transition and the break with the Malthusian era. The current framework lends support to existing unified growth theories and is well in tune with historical evidence about structural transformation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6528.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6528

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Related research

Keywords: Economic Growth; Industrial Revolution; Population Growth; Structural Change;

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References

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  1. Holger Strulik, 2003. "Mortality, the Trade-off between Child Quality and Quantity, and Demo-economic Development," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 499-520, November.
  2. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1998. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 98-1, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Aug 1998.
  3. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
  4. D. Gale Johnson, 2000. "Population, Food, and Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 1-14, March.
  5. Weisdorf, Jacob L., 2008. "Malthus revisited: Fertility decision making based on quasi-linear preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 127-130, April.
  6. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
  7. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1991. "Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
  9. 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.
  10. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Tomas Kögel & Alexia Prskawetz, 2000. "Agricultural productivity growth and escape from the Malthusian trap," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  12. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Holger Strulik, 1997. "Learning-by-doing, population pressure, and the theory of demographic transition," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 285-298.
  14. Strulik, Holger, 2007. "Geography, Health, and the Pace of Demo-Economic Development," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-361, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  15. repec:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2008:i:03:p:819-841_00 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Hans-Joachim Voth, 2003. "Living Standards During the Industrial Revolution: An Economist's Guide," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 221-226, May.
  17. Crafts, Nicholas F R, 1996. "The First Industrial Revolution: A Guided Tour for Growth Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 197-201, May.
  18. Tamura, Robert, 2002. "Human capital and the switch from agriculture to industry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 207-242, December.
  19. Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," NBER Working Papers 7375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Harley, C. Knick & Crafts, N.F.R., 2000. "Simulating the Two Views of the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 819-841, September.
  21. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  22. Allen, Robert C., 2000. "Economic structure and agricultural productivity in Europe, 1300 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 1-25, April.
  23. repec:fth:stanho:e-92-3 is not listed on IDEAS
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