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Early mortality declines at the dawn of modern growth

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  • Raouf BOUCEKKINE

    (NIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et sociales (IRES),UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE),)

  • David de la Croix

    (Fédération Nationale de la recherche scientifique (FNRS), NIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et sociales (IRES),UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE),)

  • Omar LICANDRO

    (EUI (Florence) and FEDEA (Madrid))

Abstract

We explore the hypothesis that demographic changes started in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are at the root of the acceleration in growth rates at the dawn of the modern age. During this period, life tables for Geneva and Venice show a decline in adult mortality; French marriage registers show an important increase in literacy; historians measure an acceleration of economic growth. We develop an endogenous growth model with a realistic survival law in which rising longevity increases the individual incentive to invest in education and foster growth. We quantitatively estimate that the observed improvements in adult mortality account for 70% of the growth acceleration in the pre-industrial age.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2002014.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2002014

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Keywords: Human capital; longevity; literacy; growth; schooling;

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stokey, Nancy L., 2001. "A quantitative model of the British industrial revolution, 1780-1850," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 55-109, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S11-44, August.
  6. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1998. "Malthus to Solow," NBER Working Papers 6858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
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