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Demographic Change and R&D-based Economic Growth: Reconciling Theory and Evidence

  • Klaus Prettner
  • Timo Trimborn

We analyze the effects of demographic change on medium- and long-run economic growth by setting forth an R&D-based growth model including an endogenous demographic structure. The model framework is consistent with the experience of industrialized countries, where declines in mortality are associated with even faster declines in fertility such that population growth slows down. We show that, in response to demographic change, technological progress and economic growth accelerate in the medium run but slow down in the long run. Numerical investigation reveals that the time period during which technological progress and economic growth are faster than without demographic change can be very long. Since the theoretical predictions for the medium run are consistent with the negative association between population growth and economic growth found in the empirical literature, the present framework can reconcile R&D-based growth theory with the available evidence.

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Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c017_006.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c017_006
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  1. Holger Strulik & Klaus Prettner & Alexia Prskawetz, 2011. "R&D-based Growth in the Post-modern Era," PGDA Working Papers 7411, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  2. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. David Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn Finlay, 2009. "Fertility, female labor force participation, and the demographic dividend," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 79-101, June.
  4. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink, 2010. "Implications of population ageing for economic growth," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 583-612, Winter.
  5. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Klaus Prettner, 2013. "Population aging and endogenous economic growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 811-834, April.
  7. Allen Kelley & Robert Schmidt, 1995. "Aggregate population and economic growth correlations: The role of the components of demographic change," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 543-555, November.
  8. Kelley, Allen C. & Schmidt, Robert M., 1995. "Aggregate Population and Economic Growth Correlations: The Role of the Components of Demographic Change," Working Papers 95-37, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  9. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
  11. Klaus Prettner & David E. Bloom & Holger Strulik, 2012. "Declining fertility and economic well-being: do education and health ride to the rescue?," PGDA Working Papers 8412, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  12. Timo Trimborn & Karl-Josef Koch & Thomas Steger, 2006. "Multi-Dimensional Transitional Dynamics: A Simple Numberical Procedure," CESifo Working Paper Series 1745, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  14. Avner Ahituv, 2001. "Be fruitful or multiply: On the interplay between fertility and economic development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 51-71.
  15. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2001. " Is Declining Productivity Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 187-203, September.
  16. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," UCLA Economics Working Papers 803, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Lutz G. Arnold, 2002. "On the Effectiveness of Growth-Enhancing Policies in a Model of Growth Without Scale Effects," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(3), pages 339-346, 08.
  18. 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.
  19. Strulik, Holger, 2002. "The Role of Human Capital and Population Growth in R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 170, Royal Economic Society.
  20. Buiter, Willem H, 1988. "Death, Birth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 279-93, June.
  21. Eicher, Theo S, 1996. "Interaction between Endogenous Human Capital and Technological Change," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 127-44, January.
  22. Arnold, Lutz G., 1998. "Growth, Welfare, and Trade in an Integrated Model of Human-Capital Accumulation and Research," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 81-105, January.
  23. repec:cor:louvrp:-1676 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Solow, Robert M., 2000. "Growth Theory: An Exposition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780195109030.
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