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Demographic and Economic Consequences of the Post-war Mortality Decline in Developing Countries

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  • Ulla Lehmijoki
  • Tapio Palokangas

Abstract

Since World War II, mortality has decreased in the developing world. This paper explores the effects of this mortality fall on economic and demographic growth by a family-optimization model, in which fertility is endogenous and relative wealth yields utility because of status-seeking. The main findings are that the increased life expectancy generates an income stream which promotes fertility, but that the desire for status hampers fertility and warrants economic growth by preventing capital-diluting demographic expansion. If status-seeking is strong, population growth decreases below its original level in the long run but in the short run, population growth may overshoot.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c015_010.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_010

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Related research

Keywords: mortality; population growth; economic growth;

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References

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  1. David M. Cutler & Angus S. Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Working Papers id:359, eSocialSciences.
  2. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies. 209, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  4. Isaac Ehrlich & Jinyoung Kim, 2005. "Endogenous Fertility, Mortality and Economic Growth: Can a Malthusian Framework Account for the Conflicting Historical Trends in Population?," NBER Working Papers 11590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fisher, Walter H. & Hof, Franz X., 2001. "Status Seeking in the Small Open Economy," Economics Series, Institute for Advanced Studies 106, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  6. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," NBER Working Papers 9765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fogel,Robert William, 2004. "The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521004886.
  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. Blackburn, Keith & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2002. "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-204, February.
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