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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3, 37073 Göttingen
Web page: http://www.cege.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/

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  1. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, . "Inequality and growth: why differential fertility matters," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1676, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  4. 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.
  5. Buiter, Willem H, 1988. "Death, Birth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 279-93, June.
  6. 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.
  7. Holger Strulik & Klaus Prettner & Alexia Prskawetz, 2011. "R&D-based Growth in the Post-modern Era," PGDA Working Papers 7411, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  8. Timo Trimborn & Karl-Josef Koch & Thomas Steger, 2006. "Multi-Dimensional Transitional Dynamics: A Simple Numberical Procedure," CESifo Working Paper Series 1745, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Klaus Prettner, 2011. "Population aging and endogenous economic growth," PGDA Working Papers 7211, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn E. Finlay, 2007. "Fertility, Female Labor Force Participation, and the Demographic Dividend," NBER Working Papers 13583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Klaus Prettner & David E. Bloom & Holger Strulik, 2012. "Declining fertility and economic well-being: do education and health ride to the rescue?," PGDA Working Papers 8412, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  16. 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.
  17. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2001. " Is Declining Productivity Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 187-203, September.
  18. Eicher, Theo S, 1996. "Interaction between Endogenous Human Capital and Technological Change," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 127-44, January.
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  20. repec:cor:louvrp:-1676 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. 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.
  22. Solow, Robert M., 2000. "Growth Theory: An Exposition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780195109030, March.
  23. 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.
  24. 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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