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Contraception and the Celtic Tiger

  • David E. Bloom

    (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • David Canning

    (Harvard School of Public Health)

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.

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File URL: http://www.esr.ie/Vol34_3Bloom.pdf
File Function: First version, 2003
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Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 34 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 229–247

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Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:34:y:2003:i:3:p:229-247
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  1. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  2. 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, vol. 29(2), pages 207-296.
  3. 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 419-55, September.
  4. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  5. Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
  6. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jocelyn E. Finlay, 2008. "Demographic Change and Economic Growth in Asia," PGDA Working Papers 4108, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  7. 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, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  8. 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.
  9. Young, Alwyn, 1994. "Lessons from the East Asian NICS: A contrarian view," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 964-973, April.
  10. 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.
  11. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1996. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Papers 545, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  12. 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, 09.
  13. Walsh, Brendan, 2000. "Cyclical and Structural Influences on Irish Unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 119-45, January.
  14. de la Fuente, Angel & Vives, Xavier, 1997. "The Sources of Irish Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1756, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  19. Benjamin Powell, 2003. "Economic Freedom and Growth: The Case of the Celtic Tiger," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 22(3), pages 431-448, Winter.
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