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Luddites and the Demographic Transition

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  • O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj
  • Rahman, Ahmed
  • Taylor, Alan M.

Abstract

Technological change was unskilled-labor-biased during the early Industrial Revolution, but is skill-biased today. This is not embedded in extant unified growth models. We develop a model which can endogenously account for these facts, where factor bias reflects profit maximizing decisions by innovators. Endowments dictate that the early Industrial Revolution be unskilled-labor-biased. Increasing basic knowledge causes a growth takeoff, an income-led demand for fewer educated children, and the transition to skill-biased technological change. The simulated model tracks British industrialization in the 18th and 19th centuries and generates a demographic transition without relying on either rising skill premia or exogenous educational supply shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj & Rahman, Ahmed & Taylor, Alan M., 2008. "Luddites and the Demographic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 7045, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7045
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    Cited by:

    1. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2003-2041, August.
    2. Mara P. Squicciarini & Nico Voigtländer, 2015. "Human Capital and Industrialization: Evidence from the Age of Enlightenment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 1825-1883.
    3. Galor, Oded, 2009. "2008 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture -- Comparative Economic Development: Insights from Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 7519, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Darrell J. Glaser & Ahmed S. Rahman, 2010. "The Value of Human Capital during the Second Industrial Revolution—Evidence from the U.S. Navy," Departmental Working Papers 28, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    5. Sara LaLumia & James Sallee, 2013. "The value of honesty: empirical estimates from the case of the missing children," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(2), pages 192-224, April.
    6. Oded Galor, 2011. "Unified Growth Theory and Comparative Development," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 2, pages 9-21, April-Jun.
    7. Mehdi Senouci, 2013. "Direction of technical change, endogenous fertility, and patterns of growth," Working Papers hal-01206021, HAL.
    8. Wilde, Joshua, 2012. "How substitutable are fixed factors in production? evidence from pre-industrial England," MPRA Paper 39278, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Marc Klemp & Niels Framroze Møller, 2016. "Post-Malthusian Dynamics in Pre-Industrial Scandinavia," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 118(4), pages 841-867, October.
    10. Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2011. "The Child Quantity-Quality Trade-Off During the Industrial Revolution in England," Discussion Papers 11-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    11. J. Glaser, Darrell & S. Rahman, Ahmed, 2011. "Human Capital and Technological Transition: Insights from the U.S. Navy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(03), pages 704-729, September.
    12. Kevin H. O’Rourke & Ahmed S. Rahman & Alan M. Taylor, 2012. "Trade, Technology and the Great Divergence," Departmental Working Papers 35, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    13. Ahmed S. Rahman, 2010. "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Industrialization," Departmental Working Papers 27, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    demography; endogenous growth; unified growth theory;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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