Geography, Demography, and Early Development
This paper explores the role of geography in economic development and demographic transition. It presents a growth model where survival is endogenously determined and where the odds of survival and the returns to labor are higher in geographically favorable regions. Higher life expectancy prompts parents to devote more of their resources to old-age consumption and enjoyment. Consequently, the invest relatively more in the quantity and quality of their offspring. Investment in education, together with population growth eventually triggers technological progress. As the level of technology improves and life expectancy rises along with it, a geographically advantageous economy first enters a post-Malthusian regime during which both fertility and educational attainment increase. Then, as further improvements in technology lead to a higher education premium, such an economy undergoes a demographic transition during which life expectancy continues to rise and parents have fewer but more educated children. In regions where geography is more adverse, this transition does not take place and economies remain trapped in the Malthusian regime. Thus, accounting for the role of geography in development helps to link demographic transition to geography and shows that the latter affects the economy mostly indirectly through the impact of geography on households' demographic choices. In the early stages of development, those choices in turn determine whether economies attain the scale and scope necessary for sustained economic progress. The paper also provides a framework with which to asses why geography may matter less today.
|Date of creation:||29 Aug 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page: http://www.res.org.uk/society/annualconf.asp
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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,
MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Margaret S. McMillan & William A. Masters, 2000.
"Climate and scale in economic growth,"
CSAE Working Paper Series
2000-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- William A Masters & Margaret S McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- William A. Masters & Margaret S. McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale In Economic Growth," CID Working Papers 48, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Masters, William A. & McMillan, Margaret S., 2001. "Climate And Scale In Economic Growth," Miscellaneous Papers 11845, Agecon Search.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001.
"Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution,"
NBER Working Papers
8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000.
"Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth,"
2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191, November.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Goodfriend, Marvin & McDermott, John, 1995.
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 116-33, March.
- Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, July.
- 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.
- Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996.
"The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity,"
NBER Working Papers
5657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005.
"Biogeography and long-run economic development,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
- Herschel I. Grossman & Juan Mendoza, 1999. "Scarcity and Conflict," Working Papers 99-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2002:105. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.