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Adult longevity and economic take-off from Malthus to Ben-Porath


  • DE LA CROIX, David


We propose four arguments favoring the idea that medical effectiveness, adult longevity and height started to increase in Europe before the industrial revolution. This may have prompted households to increase their investment in human skills as a response to longer lives and initiated the transition from stagnation to growth.
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Suggested Citation

  • DE LA CROIX, David, 2009. "Adult longevity and economic take-off from Malthus to Ben-Porath," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2108, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2108 Note: In : Neri Salvadori (eds.), Institutional and Social Dynamics of Growth and Distribution. Edward Elgard, 172-190, 2009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
    2. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2003. "Early Mortality Declines at the Dawn of Modern Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 401-418, September.
    3. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2013. "The Child is Father Of the Man: Implications for the Demographic Transition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 236-261, March.
    4. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Dominique Peeters, 2007. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density, and the Transition to Modern Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 183-226, March.
    5. de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 1999. "Life expectancy and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 255-263, November.
    6. Juan Carlos Cordoba & Marla Ripoll, 2008. "Life Expectancy and the Wealth of Nations," 2008 Meeting Papers 386, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy, and the Process of Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1653-1672, December.
    8. Hazan, Moshe & Zoabi, Hosny, 2005. "Does Longevity Cause Growth?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4931, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Bloom, David E & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1998. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 419-455, September.
    10. Moshe Hazan & Hosny Zoabi, 2006. "Does longevity cause growth? A theoretical critique," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 363-376, December.
    11. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
    12. Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, 2003. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 755-777, May.
    13. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
    14. David N. Well, 2007. "Accounting for the Effect Of Health on Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1265-1306.
    15. David, DE LA CROIX & Alessandro, SOMMACAL, 2006. "A Theory of Medecine Effectiveness, Differential Mortality, Income Inequality and Growth for Pre-Industrial England," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006025, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    16. Joerg Baten & Jan Zanden, 2008. "Book production and the onset of modern economic growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 217-235, September.
    17. Fogel,Robert William, 2004. "The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521004886, March.
    18. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
    19. David de la Croix & Thomas Lindh & Bo Malmberg, 2008. "Swedish economic growth and education since 1800," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 166-185, February.
    20. Lars Sandberg & Richard H. Steckel, 1997. "Was Industrialization Hazardous to Your Health? Not in Sweden!," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 127-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
    22. repec:pit:wpaper:312 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. de la Croix, David & Lindh, Thomas & Malmberg, Bo, 2009. "Demographic change and economic growth in Sweden: 1750-2050," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 132-148, March.
    24. Roderick Floud, 1984. "The Heights of Europeans Since 1750: A New Source For European Economic History," NBER Working Papers 1318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2004. "From stagnation to growth: Revisiting three historical regimes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(3), pages 455-472, August.
    26. Baten, Jörg & Komlos, John, 1998. "Height and the Standard of Living," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 866-870, September.
    27. Nicolini, Esteban A., 2004. "Mortality, interest rates, investment, and agricultural production in 18th century England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 130-155, April.
    28. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1977_32n1_0352 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. David Croix & Alessandro Sommacal, 2009. "A Theory of Medical Effectiveness, Differential Mortality, Income Inequality and Growth for Pre-Industrial England," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 2-35.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilles Le Garrec & Stéphane Lhuissier, 2011. "Life expectancy, heavy work and the return to education: lessons for the social security reform," Working Papers hal-01069511, HAL.
    2. Azomahou, Theophile & Diene, Bity & Soete, Luc, 2009. "The role of consumption and the financing of health investment under epidemic shocks," MERIT Working Papers 006, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Strulik, Holger & Werner, Katharina, 2014. "Elite education, mass education, and the transition to modern growth," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 205, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    4. Gilles Le Garrec & Stéphane Lhuissier, 2011. "Life expectancy, heavy work and return to education ; lessons for the social security reform," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-18, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    5. Laura Leker & Gregory Ponthiere, 2015. "Education, life expectancy and family bargaining: the Ben-Porath effect revisited," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 481-513, August.
    6. Azomahou, Theophile & Soete, Luc & Diene, Bity & Diene, Mbaye, 2012. "Optimal health investment with separable and non-separable preferences," MERIT Working Papers 047, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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