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Population Dynamics and Economic Growth: Should We Adopt Different Frameworks for Poor and Rich Countries?


  • Elise S. Brezis

    () (Bar-Ilan University)


From the canonical model of Becker onward, models of population dynamics have been based on assumptions which fit the family structure of developed countries. The aim of this paper is to develop a framework that fits the family structure of poor countries. The building blocks of the model incorporate elements essential to the determination of population dynamics in poor countries, i.e., child labor, intergenerational flows from children to parents, and the effects of child labor on children’s health. The main result of this paper is that the correlation between economic growth and fertility rates runs in inverse directions for poor and rich countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Elise S. Brezis, 2012. "Population Dynamics and Economic Growth: Should We Adopt Different Frameworks for Poor and Rich Countries?," Working Papers 2012-04, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2012-04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
    2. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
    3. Sonia Bhalotra & Christopher Heady, 2003. "Child Farm Labor: The Wealth Paradox," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 197-227, December.
    4. Antoine Bommier & Pierre Dubois, 2004. "Rotten Parents and Child Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 240-248, February.
    5. Brezis, Elise S., 2010. "Can demographic transition only be explained by altruistic and neo-Malthusian models?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 233-240, April.
    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. Partha Dasgupta, 1995. "The Population Problem: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1879-1902, December.
    8. Elise Brezis & Warren Young, 2003. "The new views on demographic transition: a reassessment of Malthus's and Marx's approach to population," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 25-45.
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    More about this item


    child labor; health deterioration; intergenerational transfers; fertility rates.;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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