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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. 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.
  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.
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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gurkaynak, 2001. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer and Weil Seriously," NBER Working Papers 8365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," UCLA Economics Working Papers 803, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Prettner, Klaus & Bloom, David E. & Strulik, Holger, 2013. "Declining fertility and economic well-being: Do education and health ride to the rescue?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 70-79.
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  19. Holger Strulik & Klaus Prettner & Alexia Prskawetz, 2010. "R&D-Based Growth in the Post-Modern Era," Working Papers 1009, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
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  29. 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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