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Demographic and Economic Consequences of the Post-war Mortality Decline in Developing Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Ulla Lehmijoki
  • Tapio Palokangas

Abstract

Since World War II, mortality has decreased in the developing world. This paper explores the effects of this mortality fall on economic and demographic growth by a family-optimization model, in which fertility is endogenous and relative wealth yields utility because of status-seeking. The main findings are that the increased life expectancy generates an income stream which promotes fertility, but that the desire for status hampers fertility and warrants economic growth by preventing capital-diluting demographic expansion. If status-seeking is strong, population growth decreases below its original level in the long run but in the short run, population growth may overshoot.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulla Lehmijoki & Tapio Palokangas, 2010. "Demographic and Economic Consequences of the Post-war Mortality Decline in Developing Countries," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_010, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  • Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_010
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    File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_15/c015_010.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
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    3. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
    4. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
    5. 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.
    6. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    7. Ehrlich, Isaac & Kim, Jinyoung, 2005. "Endogenous fertility, mortality and economic growth: Can a Malthusian framework account for the conflicting historical trends in population?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 789-806, October.
    8. Blackburn, Keith & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2002. "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-204, February.
    9. Fisher, Walter H. & Hof, Franz X., 2005. "Status seeking in the small open economy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 209-232, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mortality; population growth; economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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