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The Demographic Transition in Colombia: Theory and Evidence

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  • Daniel Mejía

    ()

  • María Teresa Ramírez

    ()

  • Jorge Tamayo

    ()

Abstract

The demographic transition from high to low mortality and fertility rates was one of the most important structural changes during the twentieth Century in most Latin American economies. This paper uses a simple economic framework based on Galor and Weil (2000) for understanding the main forces behind this structural transition; namely, increases in the returns to human capital accumulation driven by continuous advances in productivity led families to reduce the number of offspring and increase the level of investment in their education. As a result, the economy transits from a stage of stagnation subject to Malthusian forces to a stage of sustained economic growth, where increases in productivity lead to improvements in living standards. We use available data for Colombia between 1905 and 2005 to test the main predictions of the model with time series analysis, finding empirical evidence in their favor.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Mejía & María Teresa Ramírez & Jorge Tamayo, 2008. "The Demographic Transition in Colombia: Theory and Evidence," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 005128, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000094:005128
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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.
    2. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri, 2002. "The U.S. Demographic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 153-159, May.
    3. Kalmanovitz, Salomón, 2008. "Constituciones y crecimiento económico en la Colombia Del Siglo XIX," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(02), pages 205-241, January.
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    5. Broadberry Stephen, 2012. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Very Long Run Growth: A Historical Appraisal," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 53(1), pages 277-306, May.
    6. Adolfo Meisel R. & Margarita Vega A., 2004. "La estatura de los colombianos: un ensayo de antropometría histórica, 1910-2002," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL Y URBANA 002999, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
    7. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, September.
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    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Andrés Tamayo Castaño, 2012. "Asimetrías en la demanda por trabajo en Colombia: el papel del ciclo económico," Borradores de Economia 689, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Adolfo Meisel-Roca & Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo, 2018. "Más de cien años de avances en el nivel de vida: El caso de Colombia," Cuadernos de historia económica 015922, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
    3. Miguel Urrutia & Mauricio Ruiz, 2010. "Ciento Setenta Años de Salarios Reales en Colombia," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 28(63), pages 154-189, December.
    4. Carlos Esteban Posada, 2013. "Crecimiento económico y transición demográfica: un modelo y el caso colombiano de los siglos XIX y XX," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, December.
    5. Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri & Adolfo Meisel-Roca & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo, 2017. "More than One Hundred Years of Improvements in Living Standards: the Case of Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1027, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    6. Adolfo Meisel-Roca & Juliana Jaramillo-Echeverri & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo, 2018. "Más de cien años de avances en el nivel de vida: El caso de Colombia," Cuadernos de Historia Económica 46, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Growth; Demographic Transition; Colombia.;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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