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Population and technological innovation: the optimal interaction across modern countries

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Abstract

Population growth is one of the major problems facing the world today because it affects the pattern of sustainable economic growth. Theory of endogenous growth shows that total research output increases faster than proportionally with population due to increases in the size of the market, more intensive intellectual contact and greater specialization. The study here analyses the relationship between population growth and level of technological outputs (patent applications of residents), focusing on OECD countries. The study seems to show the existence of an inverted-U shaped curve between the growth rate of population and the patents with an optimal zone in which the average rate of growth of the population (roughly 0.3131%) is likely to be associated to a higher level of technological outputs. The policy implications of the study are that, in average, it is difficult to sustain a optimal level of technological outputs either with a low (lower than 0.2197%) or high (higher than 1.0133%) average growth rate of population (annual). In addition, the estimated relationship of technological outputs vs. population growth tends to be affected by decreasing returns of technological innovation to population growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Coccia, 2013. "Population and technological innovation: the optimal interaction across modern countries," CERIS Working Paper 201307, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
  • Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:201307
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Coccia, Mario, 2014. "Driving forces of technological change: The relation between population growth and technological innovation," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 52-65.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population; Population Growth; Innovation; Technological Change; Demographic Change; Patents; Economic Change;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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