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Contraception and the Celtic Tiger

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  • David E. Bloom

    (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • David Canning

    (Harvard School of Public Health)

Abstract

New cross-country evidence for 1965 to 1995 is presented on the link that runs from population change to economic growth. The estimates indicate that demographic change is a powerful determinant of income growth, operating mainly via the effect of changes in age structure. The estimates also indicate that the benefits of demographic change can be greatly magnified by a favourable policy environment. A case study of economic growth in Ireland suggests that the legalisation of contraception in 1980 resulted in a sharp decline in fertility and a sizeable increase in the relative share of the working-age population. This demographic shift, operating in conjunction with a favourable policy environment, can explain in large measure the birth of the Celtic Tiger. However, given demographic projections for Ireland, the Tiger’s roar may become less formidable as it continues to mature.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Bloom & David Canning, 2003. "Contraception and the Celtic Tiger," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 34(3), pages 229-247.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:34:y:2003:i:3:p:229-247
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    File URL: http://www.esr.ie/Vol34_3Bloom.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jocelyn E. Finlay, 2010. "Population Aging and Economic Growth in Asia," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 19, pages 61-89 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gene M. Grossman (ed.), 1996. "Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 553, September.
    3. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 01A, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    4. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 1203-1250.
    5. Bloom, David E & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1998. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 419-455, September.
    6. Young, Alwyn, 1994. "Lessons from the East Asian NICS: A contrarian view," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 964-973, April.
    7. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "Geography, Demography, and Economic Growth in Africa," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, pages 207-296.
    8. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    9. Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
    10. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 22(2), pages 179-232, August.
    11. David E. BLOOM & Jocelyn E. FINLAY, 2009. "Demographic Change and Economic Growth in Asia," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, pages 45-64.
    12. Benjamin Powell, 2003. "Economic Freedom and Growth: The Case of the Celtic Tiger," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, pages 431-448.
    13. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, pages 541-563.
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    15. Pierre Fortin, 2001. "The Irish Economic Boom: What Can We Learn?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 3, pages 19-31, Fall.
    16. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    17. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    18. Walsh, Brendan, 2000. "Cyclical and Structural Influences on Irish Unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 119-145, January.
    19. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, pages 1-118.
    20. Frank Barry & John Bradley & Aoife Hannan, 2001. "The Single Market, the Structural Funds and Ireland's Recent Economic Growth," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 537-552, September.
    21. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-376, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Fink, Gunther & Finlay, Jocelyn E., 2007. "Does age structure forecast economic growth?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, pages 569-585.
    2. Wyndow, Paula & Li, Jianghong & Mattes, Eugen, 2013. "Female Empowerment as a Core Driver of Democratic Development: A Dynamic Panel Model from 1980 to 2005," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 34-54.
    3. Anthony J. Evans, 2011. "The Irish Economic ‘Miracle’: Celtic Tiger or Bengal Kitten?," Chapters,in: Institutions in Crisis, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. David E Bloom & David Canning, 2006. "Global Demography: Fact, Force and Future," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
    5. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Hu, Linlin & Liu, Yuanli & Mahal, Ajay & Yip, Winnie, 2010. "The contribution of population health and demographic change to economic growth in China and India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 17-33.
    6. Husain, Muhammad Jami, 2010. "Contribution of health to economic development: A survey and overview," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 4, pages 1-52.
    7. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2008. "Éirvana," Working Papers 200812, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    8. David E Bloom & David Canning, 2006. "Global Demography: Fact, Force and Future," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
    9. David E. Bloom & David Canning, 2005. "Global Demographic Change: Dimensions and Economic Significance," PGDA Working Papers 0105, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    10. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Linlin Hu & Yuanli Liu & Ajay Mahal & Winnie Yip, 2007. "The Contribution of Population Health and Demographic Change to Economic Growth in China and India," PGDA Working Papers 2807, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    11. David E. Bloom & David Canning, 2004. "Global demographic change : dimensions and economic significance," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 9-56.
    12. Michele Gragnolati & Ole Hagen Jorgensen & Romero Rocha & Anna Fruttero, 2011. "Growing Old in an Older Brazil : Implications of Population Ageing on Growth, Poverty, Public Finance, and Service Delivery," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2351.
    13. Husain, Muhammad Jami, 2009. "Contribution of health to economic development: a survey and overview," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-40, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    14. Harkat, Tahar & Driouchi, Ahmed, 2017. "Demographic Dividend & Economic Development in Arab Countries," MPRA Paper 82880, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Eoin O'Malley, 2012. "A Survey of Explanations for the Celtic Tiger Boom," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp417, IIIS.
    16. David Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn Finlay, 2009. "Fertility, female labor force participation, and the demographic dividend," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 79-101, June.
    17. Basu, Alaka M. & Basu, Kaushik, 2014. "The prospects for an imminent demographic dividend in Africa: The case for cautious optimism," WIDER Working Paper Series 053, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Paulo Drummond & Vimal V Thakoor & Shu Yu, 2014. "Africa Rising; Harnessing the Demographic Dividend," IMF Working Papers 14/143, International Monetary Fund.
    19. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Michael Moore & Younghwan Song, 2007. "The Effect of Subjective Survival Probabilities on Retirement and Wealth in the United States," Chapters,in: Population Aging, Intergenerational Transfers and the Macroeconomy, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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