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The Physiological Foundations of the Wealth of Nations

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  • Dalgaard, Carl-Johan
  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

In the present paper we advance a theory of pre-industrial growth where body size and population size are endogenously determined. Despite the fact that parents invest in both child quantity and productivity enhancing child quality, a take-off does not occur due to a key "physiological check": if human body size rises, subsistence requirements will increase. This mechanism turns out to be instrumental in explaining why income stagnates near an endogenously determined subsistence boundary. Key predictions of the model are supported by cross-country data.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2011. "The Physiological Foundations of the Wealth of Nations," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-480, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-480
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Physiology and Malthus
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-11-10 23:08:00

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    4. Nuno Palma & Jaime Reis, 2018. "Can Autocracy Promote Literacy? Evidence from a Cultural Alignment Success Story," Working Papers 0127, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    5. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
    6. Oded Galor & Ömer Özak, 2016. "The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 3064-3103, October.
    7. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc P. B. Klemp, 2020. "The Ancient Origins of the Wealth of Nations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8624, CESifo.
    8. Strulik, Holger, 2019. "Myopic Misery: Maternal Depression, Child Investments, And The Neurobiological Poverty Trap," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 522-534, March.
    9. Sara LaLumia & James Sallee, 2013. "The value of honesty: empirical estimates from the case of the missing children," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(2), pages 192-224, April.
    10. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Strulik, Holger, 2018. "Hungry children age faster," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 211-220.
    11. Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2011. "The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 209-219, November.
    12. Madsen, Jakob Brøchner & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Testing unified growth theory: Technological progress and the child quantity-quality tradeoff," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 393, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    13. Strulik, Holger, 2009. "Knowledge and Growth in the Very Long-Run," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-414, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    14. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Focacci, Antonio, 2017. "Controversial curves of the economy: An up-to-date investigation of long waves," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 271-285.
    16. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Accounting for Fetal Origins: Health Capital vs. Health Deficits," Discussion Papers 17-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    17. Oded Galor & Viacheslav Savitskiy, 2018. "Climatic Roots of Loss Aversion," Working Papers 2018-1, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    18. Mariko J. Klasing & Petros Milionis, 2020. "The international epidemiological transition and the education gender gap," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 37-86, March.
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    20. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Hansen, Casper Worm & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Fetal origins: A life cycle model of health and aging from conception to death," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 400, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    stagnation; Subsistence; Nutrition; Body size; Population growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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