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The Simplest Unified Growth Theory

  • Holger Strulik

    (University of Hannover)

  • Jacob Weisdorf

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

This paper provides a unified growth theory, i.e. a model that explains the very long-run economic and demographic development path of industrialized economies, stretching from the pre-industrial era to present-day and beyond. Making strict use of Malthus’ (1798) so-called preventive check hypothesis – that fertility rates vary inversely with the price of food – the current study offers a new and straightforward explanation for the demographic transition and the break with the Malthusian era. The current framework lends support to existing unified growth theories and is well in tune with historical evidence about structural transformation.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/2007/0721.pdf/
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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 07-21.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0721
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  1. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
  2. Strulik, Holger, 2008. "Geography, health, and the pace of demo-economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 61-75, April.
  3. Allen, Robert C., 2000. "Economic structure and agricultural productivity in Europe, 1300 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 1-25, April.
  4. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1990. "Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage, and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 934, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Tamura, Robert, 2002. "Human capital and the switch from agriculture to industry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 207-242, December.
  6. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
  7. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1998. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 98-1, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Aug 1998.
  8. Crafts, Nicholas F R, 1996. "The First Industrial Revolution: A Guided Tour for Growth Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 197-201, May.
  9. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Tomas Kögel & Alexia Prskawetz, 2000. "Agricultural productivity growth and escape from the Malthusian trap," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  11. Galor, Oded, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 4581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Harley, C. Knick & Crafts, N.F.R., 2000. "Simulating the Two Views of the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 819-841, September.
  14. Holger Strulik, 1997. "Learning-by-doing, population pressure, and the theory of demographic transition," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 285-298.
  15. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2007. "Malthus Revisited: Fertility Decision Making based on Quasi-Linear Preferences," Discussion Papers 07-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  16. D. Gale Johnson, 2000. "Population, Food, and Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 1-14, March.
  17. Jones Charles I., 2001. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-45, August.
  18. 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.
  19. Hans-Joachim Voth, 2003. "Living Standards During the Industrial Revolution: An Economist's Guide," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 221-226, May.
  20. Holger Strulik, 1999. "Mortality, the Trade-off Between Child Quality and Quantity,and Demo-Economic Development," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 19907, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  21. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  22. repec:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2008:i:03:p:819-841_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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