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Demographic Change and Economic Growth in Asia

  • David E. Bloom
  • David Canning
  • Pia N. Malaney

This paper examines the links between demographic change and economic growth in Asia during 1965-90. We show that the overall rate of population growth had little effect on economic growth, but that changes in life expectancy, age structure, and population density have had a significant impact on growth rates. We also find strong evidence of feedback from higher income to population change via lower fertility, though a significant component of the demographic changes appears to have been exogenous. Our results suggest that the demographic transition can act both as a catalyst and as an accelerator mechanism, and that demographic effects can explain most of East Asia’s economic "miracle". East Asia benefited from a "virtuous spiral" of income growth and fertility decline, while South Asia seems to remain caught in a low-level population-income trap.

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File URL: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/pdf/015.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 15.

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Date of creation: May 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:15
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