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The Simplest Unified Growth Theory

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  • Holger Strulik

    (University of Hannover)

  • Jacob Weisdorf

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

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 University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 07-21.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0721

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Keywords: economic growth; population growth; structural change; industrial revolution;

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References

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  1. Holger Strulik, 1999. "Mortality, the Trade-off Between Child Quality and Quantity,and Demo-Economic Development," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 19907, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Charles I. Jones, . "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," Working Papers 99008, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2007. "Malthus Revisited: Fertility Decision Making based on Quasi-Linear Preferences," Discussion Papers 07-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  6. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Galor, Oded, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 4581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1998. "Population, Technology and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. repec:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2008:i:03:p:819-841_00 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Strulik, Holger, 2008. "Geography, health, and the pace of demo-economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 61-75, April.
  14. 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.
  15. D. Gale Johnson, 2000. "Population, Food, and Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 1-14, March.
  16. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Alexia & Kögel, Tomas, 2000. "Agricultural Productivity Growth and Escape from the Malthusian Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 2485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
  19. 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.
  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. 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.
  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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