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Genetics, Family Structure, and Economic Growth

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  • Paul J. Zak

    (Claremont Graduate University)

Abstract

Recent biomedical research shows that roughly three-quarters of cognitive abilities are attributable to genetics and family environment. This paper presents a theory of growth in which human capital is determined by inheritable factors and family size. The distribution of income is shown to affect the number of births, with greater inequality raising the fertility rates and reducing output growth in the transitional dynamics. If human or physical stocks are sufficiently low, the model shows that an economy can be caught in a fertility-caused poverty trap, while countries with more resources will converge to a balanced growth path where the average transmission of human capital from parents to childern determines the long-run rate of output growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul J. Zak, "undated". "Genetics, Family Structure, and Economic Growth," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-21, Claremont Colleges.
  • Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2000-21
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    File URL: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/2000-21.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Ibragimov, Rustam, 2008. "A Tale of Two Tails: Peakedness Properties in Inheritance Models of Evolutionary Theory," Scholarly Articles 2624003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Paul J. Zak & Kwang Woo Park, "undated". "Population Genetics and Economic Growth," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-20, Claremont Colleges.
    3. Yi Feng & Jacek Kugler & Paul Zak, "undated". "The Path to Prosperity: A Political Model of Demographic Change," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-23, Claremont Colleges.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    genetics; siblings; growth; fertility; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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