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Economic Growth And Evolution: Parental Preference For Quality And Quantity Of Offspring

  • Jason Collins

    (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia)

  • Boris Baer

    (Plant Energy Biology ARC Centre of Excellence, The University of Western Australia)

  • Ernst Juerg Weber

    (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia)

This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the model developed in Galor and Moav, Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth (2002), in which agents vary genetically in their preference for quality and quantity of children. We simulate a parametric form of the model, enabling examination of the transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern rates of economic growth. The simulations allow an assessment of the strength of the biological foundations of the model and demonstrate the susceptibility of the modern high-growth state to invasion by cheaters. Extending the model from two to three genotypes suggests the possibility of a return to Malthusian conditions rather than a permanent state of modern growth.

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File URL: http://www.business.uwa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1627326/11--5-Economic-Growth-and-Evolution-Parental-Preference-for-Quality-and-Quantity-of-Offspring.pdf
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Paper provided by The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion / Working Papers with number 11-05.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwa:wpaper:11-05
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Web page: http://www.business.uwa.edu.au/school/disciplines/economics

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  1. Oded Galor & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2011. "Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000116, David K. Levine.
  2. 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.
  3. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," Working Papers 2010-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Becker, Sascha O. & Cinnirella, Francesco & Woessmann, Ludger, 2009. "The Trade-off between Fertility and Education: Evidence from before the Demographic Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 4557, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2007. "The Diffusion of Development," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0704, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  6. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 6824, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil, 2010. "Malthus to Modernity: England’s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800," MPRA Paper 25465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1977. "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-52, April.
  9. Arthur J. Robson & Balazs Szentes, 2008. "Evolution of Time Preference by Natural Selection: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1178-88, June.
  10. Hansson, Ingemar & Stuart, Charles, 1990. "Malthusian Selection of Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 529-44, June.
  11. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Gregory Clark & Gillian Hamilton, 2006. "Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England," Working Papers 615, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  13. Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
  14. Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins, 2009. "Urbanization, Mortality, and Fertility in Malthusian England," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 242-47, May.
  15. Gregory Clark, 2009. "The Macroeconomic Aggregates for England, 1209-2008," Working Papers 919, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  16. Larry Samuelson & Arthur J. Robson, 2007. "The Evolution of Intertemporal Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 496-500, May.
  17. Theodore W. Schultz, 1974. "Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number schu74-1, December.
  18. George B. Roberts, Chairman, Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, 1960. "Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number univ60-2, December.
  19. Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, 2006. "The Galor-Weil Model Revisited: A Quantitative Exercise," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 116-142, January.
  20. Rogers, Alan R, 1994. "Evolution of Time Preference by Natural Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 460-81, June.
  21. 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.
  22. Nick Netzer, 2009. "Evolution of Time Preferences and Attitudes toward Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 937-55, June.
  23. Jack Hirshleifer, 1977. "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint," UCLA Economics Working Papers 087, UCLA Department of Economics.
  24. Rubin, Paul H & Paul, Chris W, II, 1979. "An Evolutionary Model of Taste for Risk," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(4), pages 585-96, October.
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