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On Demographic Transition, Structural Change, and Economic Growth and Stagnation


  • Holger Strulik



The paper analyzes an economy with an agrarian and an industrial sector. Demand is determined by Engel's Law. Population growth follows a non--linear income dependent path according to the theory of demographic transition. In case of decreasing returns to scale in the agrarian sector the existence of a stable low--income equilibrium with high population growth can be shown. If this equilibrium is globally unstable, the system evolves towards a steady--state of perpetual economic growth and low population growth. The path of demographic transition coincides with a path of structural change from an economy specialized in agriculture to a fully industrialized economy. The introduction of an income dependent savings rate allows the interpretation of the low--income equilibrium as a limit cycle and, therefore, the explanation of high fluctuations in population growth and per capita income in least developed economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Holger Strulik, 1998. "On Demographic Transition, Structural Change, and Economic Growth and Stagnation," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 19803, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ham:qmwops:19803

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    2. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-183, May.
    3. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-357, April.
    4. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
    5. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1996. "Social Conflict and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 125-142, March.
    6. Richard B. Freeman & David L. Lindauer, 1999. "Why Not Africa?," NBER Working Papers 6942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Masao Ogaki & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Role of Durable Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1078-1098, October.
    8. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo Manuelli, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth," NBER Working Papers 3241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    Demographic Transition; Economic Growth; Structural Change; Limit Cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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