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Growth or Stagnation? The Role of Public Education

  • Kenneth Beauchemin

This paper presents a political-economic theory of growth and human capital accumulation. Age heterogeneity is put forth as the primary source of disagreement between individuals over various levels public education expenditures. An overlapping generations model with with two-period lived agents is constructed to capture the heterogeneity. With a growing population, the equilibrium quantity of public education reflects the preferences of youth and is therefore foward looking. As such, policy preferences are a function of intertemporal elasticities, utility discounting and population growth. Despite foward looking behavior, it is shown that sufficiently rapid population growth can trigger stagnation (zero growth) in the form of a corner solution to the public policy problem. The model therefore complements existing models that associate slow per capita output growth with high population growth.

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Paper provided by University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 99-06.

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Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:99-06
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
Phone: (518) 442-4735
Fax: (518) 442-4736

Order Information: Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
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  1. Tamura, Robert, 1996. "From decay to growth: A demographic transition to economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1237-1261.
  2. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Jones,L.E. & Manuelli,R.E. & Stacchetti,E., 1999. "Technology (and policy) shocks in models of endogenous growth," Working papers 9, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  5. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M & Tamura, Robert, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S12-37, October.
  6. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-59, October.
  7. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  8. Tamura, Robert, 1994. "Fertility, Human Capital and the Wealth of Families," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 593-603, May.
  9. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1994. "Sources of economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-46, June.
  10. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  11. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1993. "Education, democracy and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 399-407, December.
  12. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  13. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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