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The Physiological Foundations of the Wealth of Nations

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  • Dalgaard, Carl-Johan
  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

In the present paper we advance a theory of pre-industrial growth where body size and population size are endogenously determined. Despite the fact that parents invest in both child quantity and productivity enhancing child quality, a take-off does not occur due to a key "physiological check": if human body size rises, subsistence requirements will increase. This mechanism turns out to be instrumental in explaining why income stagnates near an endogenously determined subsistence boundary. Key predictions of the model are supported by cross-country data.

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File URL: http://www3.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/Forschung/Diskussionspapiere/dp-480.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-480.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-480

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Keywords: stagnation; Subsistence; Nutrition; Body size; Population growth;

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References

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  1. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," Center for Development Economics 2010-07, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised May 2011.
  2. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
  3. Köpke, Nikola & Baten, Jörg, 2003. "The biological standard of living in Europe during the last two millennia," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 265, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
  4. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2001. "The U.S. Structural Transformation and Regional Convergence: A Reinterpretation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 584-616, June.
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  23. Oded Galor, 2010. "The 2008 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture-Comparative Economic Development: Insights From Unified Growth Theory," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 1-44, 02.
  24. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
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  26. 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.
  27. Shekhar Aiyar & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Omer Moav, 2008. "Technological progress and regress in pre-industrial times," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 125-144, June.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Physiology and Malthus
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-11-10 17:08:00
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Cited by:
  1. Sara LaLumia & James M. Sallee, 2011. "The Value of Honesty: Empirical Estimates from the Case of the Missing Children," NBER Working Papers 17247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Strulik, Holger, 2012. "Knowledge and growth in the very long run," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 145, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  3. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," Center for Development Economics 2010-03, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jun 2011.
  4. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," NBER Working Papers 17037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sharp, Paul & Strulik, Holger & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2012. "The determinants of income in a Malthusian equilibrium," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 112-117.
  6. Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2011. "The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 209-219, November.
  7. Patricia Beeson & Lara Shore-Sheppard & Tara Watson, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Public Finance Review, , vol. 38(5), pages 540-584, September.

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