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Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density and the Transition to Modern Growth

  • Raouf Boucekkine
  • David de la Croix
  • Dominique Peeters

The transition from economic stagnation to sustained growth is often modelled with a "population-induced" technical progress which raised the return to human capital. In this literature the effect of population on productivity is assumed instead of being derived from more primary assumptions, which makes difficult to really assess the validity of the assumption. In this paper the effect of population on productivity is derived from optimal behavior. More precisely, both the number and location of education facilities is chosen optimally by municipalities. Individuals determine their education investment depending on the distance from the nearest school,and also on technical progress and longevity. In this set-up, higher population density makes it optimal to multiply the number of schools, opening the possibility to reach higher educational levels, so paving the way for the subsequent Industrial Revolution. This effect of population on the number of schools is consistent with the available evidence for England, which shows a high rate of school foundations over the period 1550-1650, when population density started to increase

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 426.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:426
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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  1. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2003. "Early Mortality Declines at the Dawn of Modern Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 401-418, 09.
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