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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.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/hew/papers/0503/0503001.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0503001.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 14 Mar 2005
Date of revision: 17 Jan 2006
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0503001
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 21
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Holger Strulik, 2001. "The Role of Human Capital and Population Growth in R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20109, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Connolly, Michelle & Peretto, Pietro F, 2003. " Industry and the Family: Two Engines of Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 115-48, March.
  7. Taiji Harashima, 2005. "An Estimate of the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution in a Production Economy," Macroeconomics 0508030, EconWPA.
  8. Alwyn Young, 1998. "Growth without Scale Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 41-63, February.
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