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Agricultural Productivity Growth and Escape from the Malthusian Trap

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  • Kogel, Tomas
  • Prskawetz, Alexia

Abstract

Industrialization allowed the industrialized world of today to escape from the Malthusian regime characterized by low economic and population growth and to enter the post-Malthusian regime of high economic and population growth. To explain the transition between these regimes, we construct a growth model with two consumption goods (an agricultural and a manufacturing good), endogenous fertility, and endogenous technological progress in the manufacturing sector. We show that with an exogenous increase in the growth of agricultural productivity our model is able to replicate stylized facts of the British industrial revolution. The paper concludes by illustrating that our proposed model framework can be extended to include the demographic transition, i.e., a regime in which economic growth is associated with falling fertility. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Kogel, Tomas & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2001. "Agricultural Productivity Growth and Escape from the Malthusian Trap," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 337-357, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:6:y:2001:i:4:p:337-57
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
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    5. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Goodfriend, Marvin & McDermott, John, 1995. "Early Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 116-133, March.
    8. Edwards, Brian K & Starr, Ross M, 1987. "A Note on Indivisibilities, Specialization, and Economies of Scale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 192-194, March.
    9. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
    10. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2001. "Is Declining Productivity Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 187-203, September.
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    12. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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