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A Bioeconomic Foundation of the Malthusian Equilibrium: Body Size and Population Size in the Long-Run

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  • Dalgaard, Carl-Johan
  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

This paper develops a bioeconomic Malthusian growth model. By integrating recent research on allometric scaling, energy consumption and ontogenetic growth, we provide a model where subsistence consumption is endogenously linked to body size and fertility. The theory admits a unique Malthusian equilibrium in a two-dimensional state space characterized by population density and body size (metabolic rate) of the representative adult. As a result, the analysis allows us to examine the link between human biology, economic productivity, body size, and population size. Off the steady-state we investigate the possibility of cyclical behavior of the size of a population and the size of its representative member over the very long-run. We also demonstrate that a take-off into sustained growth should be associated with increasing income, population size and body size. The increase in the latter is, however, bounded and can be viewed as convergence to a biologically determined upper limit.

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File URL: http://www3.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/Forschung/Diskussionspapiere/dp-373.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät in its series Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover with number dp-373.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-373

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Web page: http://www.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/
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Related research

Keywords: Subsistence; Nutrition; Metabolism; Population Growth; Ontogenetic Growth; Malthus;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dietrich Vollrath, 2011. "The agricultural basis of comparative development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 343-370, December.
  2. Strulik, Holger, 2012. "Patience and prosperity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 336-352.
  3. Strulik, Holger, 2008. "A Note on Economic Growth with Subsistence Consumption," Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover dp-405, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  4. Olsson, Ola, 2008. "Resource Conflict in Vulnerable Environments: Three Models Applied to Darfur," Working Papers in Economics 325, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  5. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2008. "A Bioeconomic Foundation for the Nutrition-based Efficiency Wage Model," Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover dp-396, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  6. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2008. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Galor, Oded, 2009. "2008 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture -- Comparative Economic Development: Insights from Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 7519, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Strulik, Holger, 2009. "Voracity and Growth Reconsidered," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 36, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  9. Ashok Guha & Brishti Guha, 2008. "Utility functions, future consumption targets and subsistence thresholds," Microeconomics Working Papers 22431, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

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