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Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth

  • Charles I. Jones

Why do economies exhibit sustained growth in per capita income? This paper argues that endogenous fertility and increasing returns to scale are the fundamental ingredients in understanding endogenous growth. Endogenous fertility leads the scale of the economy to grow over time. Increasing returns translates this increase in scale into rising per capita income. A justification for increasing returns rather than linearity in the equation for technological progress is the fundamental insight of the idea-based growth literature according to this view. Endogenous fertility together with the increasing returns associated with the nonrivalry of ideas generates endogenous growth.

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Paper provided by Stanford University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 97018.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:stanec:97018
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  1. Sergio T. Rebelo, 1990. "Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 3325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
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  4. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 923-33, December.
  5. Judd, Kenneth L, 1985. "On the Performance of Patents," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 567-85, May.
  6. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Alwyn Young, 1998. "Growth without Scale Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 41-63, February.
  8. Edmond S. Phelps, 1964. "Models of Technical Progress and the Golden Rule of Research," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 176, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
  10. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
  11. Nordhaus, William D, 1969. "An Economic Theory of Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 18-28, May.
  12. Karl Shell, 2010. "A Model of Inventive Activity and Capital Accumulation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1409, David K. Levine.
  13. Raut, L K & Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Dynamics of Endogenous Growth," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(5), pages 777-90, August.
  14. Paul M. Romer, 1987. "Crazy Explanations for the Productivity Slowdown," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 163-210 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  16. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Robert M. Solow, 1994. "Perspectives on Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 45-54, Winter.
  18. Pitchford, John, 1972. "Population and Optimal Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(1), pages 109-36, January.
  19. P. S. Dasgupta, 1969. "On the Concept of Optimum Population," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 295-318.
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