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The Simplest Unified Growth Theory

  • Strulik, Holger
  • Weisdorf, Jacob

This paper provides a unified growth theory, i.e. a model that explains the very long-run economic and demographic development path of industrialized economies, stretching from the pre-industrial era to present-day and beyond. Making strict use of Malthus’ (1798) so-called preventive check hypothesis - that fertility rates vary inversely with the price of food - the current study offers a new and straightforward explanation for the demographic transition and the break with the Malthusian era. The current framework lends support to existing unified growth theories and is well in tune with historical evidence about structural transformation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6528.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6528
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  1. Holger Strulik, 1999. "Mortality, the Trade-off Between Child Quality and Quantity,and Demo-Economic Development," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 19907, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gurkaynak, 2001. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer and Weil Seriously," NBER Working Papers 8365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Strulik, Holger, 2007. "Geography, Health, and the Pace of Demo-Economic Development," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-361, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  5. Crafts, Nicholas F R, 1996. "The First Industrial Revolution: A Guided Tour for Growth Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 197-201, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Hans-Joachim Voth, 2003. "Living Standards During the Industrial Revolution: An Economist's Guide," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 221-226, May.
  8. Oded Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," GE, Growth, Math methods 0409003, EconWPA.
  9. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1991. "Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:3:p:681-716 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1998. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 98-1, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Aug 1998.
  12. repec:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2008:i:03:p:819-841_00 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Tamura, Robert, 2002. "Human capital and the switch from agriculture to industry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 207-242, December.
  14. Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Alexia & Kögel, Tomas, 2000. "Agricultural Productivity Growth and Escape from the Malthusian Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 2485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2007. "Malthus Revisited: Fertility Decision Making based on Quasi-Linear Preferences," Discussion Papers 07-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  16. Holger Strulik, 1997. "Learning-by-doing, population pressure, and the theory of demographic transition," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 285-298.
  17. Allen, Robert C., 2000. "Economic structure and agricultural productivity in Europe, 1300 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 1-25, April.
  18. Jones Charles I., 2001. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-45, August.
  19. 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.
  20. D. Gale Johnson, 2000. "Population, Food, and Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 1-14, March.
  21. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2000. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends and Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  22. Harley, C. Knick & Crafts, N.F.R., 2000. "Simulating the Two Views of the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 819-841, September.
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