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Demographic change and R&D-based economic growth: Reconciling theory and evidence

  • Prettner, Klaus
  • Trimborn, Timo

In recent decades, most industrialized countries experienced declining population growth rates caused by declining fertility and associated with rising life expectancy. We analyze the effect of continuing demographic change on medium- and long-run economic growth by setting forth an R&D-based growth model including an analytically tractable demographic structure. Our results show that, in response to demographic change, technological progress and economic growth accelerate in the medium run but slow down in the long run. Numerical investigation reveals that the time period during which technological progress and economic growth are faster than without demographic change can be very long. Since the theoretical predictions for the medium run are consistent with the negative association between population growth and economic growth found in the empirical literature, the present framework can reconcile R&D-based growth theory with the available empirical evidence.

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Paper provided by University of Goettingen, Department of Economics in its series Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers with number 139.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:139
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  1. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, 2001. "Inequality and Growth : Why Differential Fertility Matters," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Klaus Prettner, 2009. "Population ageing and endogenous economic growth," Working Papers 0908, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
  3. Karl-Josef Koch & Timo Trimborn & Thomas M. Steger, 2005. "Multi-Dimensional Transitional Dynamics: A Simple Numerical Procedure," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 121-05, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  4. Avner Ahituv, 2001. "Be fruitful or multiply: On the interplay between fertility and economic development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(1), pages 51-71.
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  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, 02.
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  9. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  10. Lutz G. Arnold, 2002. "On the Effectiveness of Growth-Enhancing Policies in a Model of Growth Without Scale Effects," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(3), pages 339-346, 08.
  11. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  13. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
  14. Prettner, Klaus & Bloom, David E. & Strulik, Holger, 2012. "Declining Fertility and Economic Well-Being: Do Education and Health Ride to the Rescue?," IZA Discussion Papers 6527, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Allen Kelley & Robert Schmidt, 1995. "Aggregate population and economic growth correlations: The role of the components of demographic change," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(4), pages 543-555, November.
  16. Strulik, Holger & Prettner, Klaus & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2011. "R&D-based growth in the post-modern era," ECON WPS - Vienna University of Technology Working Papers in Economic Theory and Policy 04/2011, Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics, Research Group Economics (ECON).
  17. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  23. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2001. "Is Declining Productivity Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 187-203, September.
  24. Arnold, Lutz G., 1998. "Growth, Welfare, and Trade in an Integrated Model of Human-Capital Accumulation and Research," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 81-105, January.
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  26. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
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  28. Theo S. Eicher, 1996. "Interaction Between Endogenous Human Capital and Technological Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 127-144.
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