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Fertility Choice and Semi-Endogenous Growth: Where Becker Meets Jones


  • Jakub Growiec

    (Warsaw School of Economics)


Introducing fertility choice into an R&D-based semi-endogenous growth model makes it possible for the economy's long-run growth rate to be again fully endogenously determined. A positive growth rate along the balanced growth path requires a certain knife-edge assumption, though. In the usual framework, it would be the assumption that the intertemporal elasticity of substitution in consumption be exactly unity (IES=1). We argue that such an assumption constitutes the ultimate source of long-run growth in these models; thus, we analyze the alternatives. If one relaxes the IES=1 assumption, and introduces a minimum "subsistence" fertility level to the model, there may (but may not) emerge an asymptotic balanced growth path with positive growth rates, to which the economy eventually converges as levels of variables diverge to infinity. This balanced growth path is either saddle-path stable or completely stable. We also address the issue of the economy's invariance towards fertility-promoting policy within the semi-endogenous growth framework. We conclude, that such policy can bring long-run effects only in the knife-edge case of IES=1 type, so that Jones' policy invariance result is typically consistent with endogenous fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Jakub Growiec, 2005. "Fertility Choice and Semi-Endogenous Growth: Where Becker Meets Jones," HEW 0503001, EconWPA, revised 17 Jan 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0503001
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 21

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jones Charles I., 2001. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-45, August.
    2. Carlo Favero, 2005. "Consumption, Wealth, the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution and Long-Run Stock Market Returns," Working Papers 291, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Beaudry, Paul & van Wincoop, Eric, 1996. "The Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution: An Exploration Using a US Panel of State Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(251), pages 495-512, August.
    4. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
    5. Taiji Harashima, 2005. "An Estimate of the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution in a Production Economy," Macroeconomics 0508030, EconWPA.
    6. Holger Strulik, 2005. "The Role of Human Capital and Population Growth in R&D-based Models of Economic Growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 129-145, February.
    7. Alwyn Young, 1998. "Growth without Scale Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 41-63, February.
    8. Connolly, Michelle & Peretto, Pietro F, 2003. "Industry and the Family: Two Engines of Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 115-148, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boikos, Spyridon & Bucci, Alberto & Stengos, Thanasis, 2013. "Non-monotonicity of fertility in human capital accumulation and economic growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 44-59.
    2. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido, 2011. "Cultural preference on fertility and the long-run growth effects of intellectual property rights," MPRA Paper 29059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Alberto Bucci & Chiara Del Bo, 2009. "On the interaction between public investment and private capital in economic growth," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1092, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
    4. Holger Strulik & Klaus Prettner & Alexia Prskawetz, 2013. "The past and future of knowledge-based growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 411-437, December.
    5. Alberto Bucci & Davide Torre, 2009. "Population and economic growth with human and physical capital investments," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 56(1), pages 17-27, March.
    6. Bucci, Alberto & Segre, Giovanna, 2011. "Culture and human capital in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 279-293, December.
    7. Bucci Alberto, 2010. "Population in Factor Accumulation-based Growth," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 33-68.
    8. Bucci, Alberto, 2008. "Population growth in a model of economic growth with human capital accumulation and horizontal R&D," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1124-1147, September.
    9. Strulik, Holger & Prettner, Klaus & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2010. "R\&D-based Growth in the Post-modern Era," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-457, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    10. Angus Chu & Guido Cozzi & Chih-Hsing Liao, 2013. "Endogenous fertility and human capital in a Schumpeterian growth model," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 181-202, January.
    11. Spataro, Luca & Renström, Thomas I., 2012. "Optimal taxation, critical-level utilitarianism and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 727-738.
    12. Alberto Bucci, 2009. "Population, Innovation, Competition and Growth with and without Human Capital Investment," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1095, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
    13. repec:got:cegedp:140 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    fertility choice; semi-endogenous growth; R&D; long-run dynamics; knife-edge conditions;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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