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Population, Technology, and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition

This paper develops a unified model of growth, population, and technological progress that is consistent with long-term historical evidence. The economy endogenously evolves through three phases. In the Malthusian regime, population growth is positively related to the level of income per capita. Technological progress is slow and is matched by proportional increases in population, so that output per capita is stable around a constant level. In the post-Malthusian regime, the growth rates of technology and total output increase. Population growth absorbs much of the growth of output, but income per capita does rise slowly. The economy endogenously undergoes a demographic transition in which the traditionally positive relationship between income per capita and population growth is reversed. In the Modern Growth regime, population growth is moderate and income per capita rises rapidly.

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Paper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 98-1.

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Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision: 19 Aug 1998
Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:98-3
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912

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  1. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
  2. Galor, O. & Tsiddon, D., 1996. "Technological Progress, Mobility and Economic Growth," Papers 13-96, Tel Aviv.
  3. Schultz, T. Paul, 1993. "Demand for children in low income countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 349-430 Elsevier.
  4. Robinson, James A. & Srinivasan, T.N., 1993. "Long-term consequences of population growth: Technological change, natural resources, and the environment," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1175-1298 Elsevier.
  5. Eckstein, Zvi & Stern, Steven & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1988. "Fertility Choice, Land, and the Malthusian Hypothesis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(2), pages 353-61, May.
  6. Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
  7. Marvin Goodfriend & John McDermott, 1994. "Early development," Working Paper 94-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  8. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  9. George B. Roberts, Chairman, Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, 1960. "Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number univ60-2, July.
  10. Richard R. Nelson & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  12. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  13. Claudia Goldin, 1994. "The U-Shaped Female Labor Force Function in Economic Development and Economic History," NBER Working Papers 4707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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