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Birth, Death, and Development: A Simple Unified Growth Theory

  • Holger Strulik

    (University of Hannover)

  • Jacob Weisdorf

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

This study provides a unified growth theory to correctly predict the initially negative and subsequently positive relationship between child mortality and net reproduction observed in industrialized countries over the course of their demographic transitions. The model captures the intricate interplay between technological progress, mortality, fertility and economic growth in the transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern growth. It identifies a number of structural breaks over the course of development, suggesting a high degree of complexity regarding the relationships between various economic and demographic variables.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/2008/0832.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-32.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0832
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  1. Galor, Oded & Mountford, Andrew, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6678, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2004. "From stagnation to growth: Revisiting three historical regimes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 455-472, 08.
  5. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2005. "Human capital formation, life expectancy, and the process of development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20083, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Ehrlich, Isaac & Kim, Jinyoung, 2005. "Endogenous fertility, mortality and economic growth: Can a Malthusian framework account for the conflicting historical trends in population?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 789-806, October.
  7. Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," NBER Working Papers 7375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1986. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," Development and Comp Systems 0312006, EconWPA.
  10. Barro, R.J. & Becker, G.S., 1988. "Fertility Choice In A Model Of Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  11. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1998. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 6811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jaypee Sevilla, 2001. "Economic Growth and the Demographic Transition," NBER Working Papers 8685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Weisdorf, Jacob L., 2008. "Malthus revisited: Fertility decision making based on quasi-linear preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 127-130, April.
  15. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  17. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2002. "Does the Mortality Decline Promote Economic Growth?," Macroeconomics 0212008, EconWPA.
  18. Strulik, Holger, 2007. "Geography, Health, and the Pace of Demo-Economic Development," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-361, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  19. Oded_Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth:Unified Growth Theory," Working Papers 2004-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  20. 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.
  21. Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, 2003. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 755-777, 05.
  22. Holger Strulik & Jacob Weisdorf, 2008. "Population, food, and knowledge: a simple unified growth theory," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 195-216, September.
  23. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Human Capital, Mortality and Fertility: A Unified Theory of the Economic and Demographic Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 2905, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Leonid Azarnert, 2006. "Child mortality, fertility, and human capital accumulation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 285-297, June.
  25. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  26. Nils-Petter Lagerloef, 2000. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: The Three Regimes Revisited," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1248, Econometric Society.
  27. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
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