Economic development and population growth: an inverted-U shaped curve?
There has been a large debate on the relations between demography and economic development. Our paper discusses the possibility that there exists an inverted-U curve, similar in shape to Kuznets’s curve, between the growth rate of population and the growth rate of the per-capita GDP. The cross-country empirical analysis, carried out on over 90 countries in the period 1980-2010, seems to confirm the existence of this kind of curve. The main reasons behind this phenomenon are discussed. First, it is difficult to sustain a high economic growth either with a low (lower than 0.5%) or high (higher than 2-2.5%) growth rate of population. In the first case, an excessive ageing of population causes the well-known negative consequences. In the second case, the possibilities of large households of providing children with adequate nourishment, education and health are reduced. Moreover, without a perfect capital market, it is difficult to promote new firms and innovation unless adequate personal or family resources are available
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