The Role of Components of Demographic Change in Economic Development : Whither the Trend ?
In this paper, we investigate the role of the components of demographic change on economic development. Population growth has both positive and negative effects on income growth. Kelley and Schmidt (1995) states that high birth rates are costly in terms of growth but this effect can be offset by a positive impact of mortality reductions. We study how the weight of each effect has changed over time considering a panel of countries over the last four decades. We find that there is little gain to expect from further reductions in mortality in developing countries, and that the effect of birth rates has become positive in developed countries. In contrast to the earlier study, where growth enhancing effect of population density is felt consistently for all decades, we find that the effect is limited only to the sixties.
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