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



This paper develops a unified growth model that captures the historical evolution of population, technology, and output. It encompasses the endogenous transition between three regimes that have characterized economic development. The economy evolves from a Malthusian regime, where technological progress is slow and population growth prevents any sustained rise in income per capita, into a Post-Malthusian regime, where technological progress rises and population growth absorbs only part of output growth. Ultimately, a demographic transition reverses the positive relationship between income and population growth, and the economy enters a Modern Growth regime with reduced population growth and sustained growth of income.

Suggested Citation

  • Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1998. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 98-3, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Aug 1998.
  • Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:98-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 363-382, June.
    2. 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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    6. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
    7. 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 353-361, May.
    8. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
    9. 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.
    10. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-290.
    11. Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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