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Growth, Distribution, and Demography: Some Lessons from History

  • Williamson, Jeffrey G.

If we have learned anything from the recent outpouring of empirical growth equations is that life is far too complex to expect unconditional' convergence among all countries and at" all times. This fact motivates two questions. First, why has it taken economists so long to learn" the same lesson from the Kuznets Curve debate? No economist should expect an unconditional'" Kuznets Curve to emerge from the growth experience of all countries and at all times. The" industrial revolutionary forces thought to have an impact on inequality can be offset or reinforced" by demography, skill supply and globalization. This paper assesses the role of globalization and" demography via mass migrations. Second, why has it taken economists so long to learn that" demography influences growth? When treated properly, demography can be shown to have a" significant impact on GDP per capita growth. The answers to these two questions are sought by" looking at inequality and growth experience in the Old World, the New World last century and a half.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 35 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 241-271

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:35:y:1998:i:3:p:241-271
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1995. "Around the European Periphery 1870-1913: Globalization, Schooling and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1994. "Convergence in the Age of Mass Migration," NBER Working Papers 4711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1991. "Capital Flows to the New World as an Intergenerational Transfer," NBER Historical Working Papers 0032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert W. Fogel, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 4638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kelley, Allen C. & Schmidt, Robert M., 1995. "Aggregate Population and Economic Growth Correlations: The Role of the Components of Demographic Change," Working Papers 95-37, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  6. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1997. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," NBER Working Papers 6268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1992. "What Drove the Mass Migrations from Europe in the Late Nineteenth Century?," NBER Historical Working Papers 0043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. O'Rourke, K, 1997. "Tariffs and Growth in the Late 19th Century," Papers 97/18, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  9. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  10. Wood, Adrian, 1995. "North-South Trade, Employment and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290155, March.
  11. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1996. "Globalization and Inequality Past and Present," NBER Working Papers 5491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1996. "Globalization, Convergence, and History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 277-306, June.
  13. Peter Lindert & Wen Hai & Shunli Yao, 2003. "Three Centuries Of Inequality In Britain And America," Working Papers 979, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  14. Taylor, Alan M., 1999. "Sources of convergence in the late nineteenth century," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1621-1645, October.
  15. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  16. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1992. "The Evolution of Global Labor Markets Since 1830 Background Evidence and Hypotheses," NBER Historical Working Papers 0036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. O'Rourke, Kevin H & Taylor, Alan M & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1996. "Factor Price Convergence in the Late Nineteenth Century," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(3), pages 499-530, August.
  18. Robinson, Sherman, 1976. "A Note on the U Hypothesis Relating Income Inequality and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 437-40, June.
  19. Ahluwalia, Montek S., 1976. "Inequality, poverty and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-342, December.
  20. Lindert, Peter H., 2000. "Three centuries of inequality in Britain and America," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 167-216 Elsevier.
  21. Kelley, Allen C, 1988. "Economic Consequences of Population Change in the Third World," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1685-1728, December.
  22. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1994. "The Political Economy of Growth: A Critical Survey of the Recent Literature," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 351-71, September.
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