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From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?

  • Nils-Petter Lagerlöf
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    We model demographic and economic long-run development in a setting where mortality is endogenous and subject to epidemic shocks. The model replicates the full transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern growth. Consistent with the historical facts, the economy also passes an intermediate post-Malthusian phase where growth rates of both population and per capita income increase simultaneously, as mortality rates fall and become less volatile. The escape from the Malthusian trap is the result of a series of mild epidemic shocks, making it inevitable at some stage, but its timing random. Calibrations show that it can differ by thousands of generations, absent differences in exogenous parameters. Copyright 2003 By The Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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    Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (05)
    Pages: 755-777

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    Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:44:y:2003:i:2:p:755-777
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    1. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
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    6. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Das Human Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410003, EconWPA.
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