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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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Web page: http://www.cege.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/

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  1. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "How Far Are We From the Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Trimborn, Timo & Koch, Karl-Josef & Steger, Thomas M., 2008. "Multidimensional Transitional Dynamics: A Simple Numerical Procedure," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 301-319, June.
  3. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
  4. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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).
  6. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  7. Avner Ahituv, 2001. "Be fruitful or multiply: On the interplay between fertility and economic development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 51-71.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. David Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn Finlay, 2009. "Fertility, female labor force participation, and the demographic dividend," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 79-101, June.
  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. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  13. Allen Kelley & Robert Schmidt, 1995. "Aggregate population and economic growth correlations: The role of the components of demographic change," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 543-555, November.
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  15. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
  16. 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.
  17. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2001. "Is Declining Productivity Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 187-203, September.
  19. Kelley, Allen C. & Schmidt, Robert M., 1995. "Aggregate Population and Economic Growth Correlations: The Role of the Components of Demographic Change," Working Papers 95-37, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  20. Solow, Robert M., 2000. "Growth Theory: An Exposition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780195109030, May.
  21. 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.
  22. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink, 2010. "Implications of population ageing for economic growth," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 583-612, Winter.
  23. repec:gdm:wpaper:8412 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. repec:cor:louvrp:-1676 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Buiter, Willem H, 1988. "Death, Birth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 279-93, June.
  26. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  27. 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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