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

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  • Raouf Boucekkine
  • David de la Croix
  • Dominique Peeters

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Dominique Peeters, 2004. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density and the Transition to Modern Growth," 2004 Meeting Papers 426, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:426
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; population density; education investment; school location; technical progress;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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