The size and the growth rate of population and economic growth

Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


Human Capital Productivity Growth Capital Stock Scale Effect Population Growth Rate 


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  1. 1.
    For an early discussion of the declining population in Germany see e.g. Buttler (1979) and Dettling W. (ed.) (1978). On France: see Spengler (1938). Three early works on population and economic growth are not discussed here as they focus on a growing population: Malthus (1798) and Ricardo (1817) stress the limitation of natural resources and the danger of an increasing population. In the line with Smith (1776), population growth is both a cause and a consequence of economic growth. See for a review of Malthus, Ricardo and Smith: Ehrlich and Lui (1997), Hansen and Prescott (1998) and Galor and Weil (1999).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    In the original, “...wodurch ist das Vaterland mehr gefährdet? Durch den Krieg oder den Geburtenrückgang?” (p.75).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    “Wachsendes Volk-Wachsende Wirtschaft, Schrumpfendes Volk-Schrumpfende Wirtschaft!” (p.30)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    In the original “...schwere Erschuütterungen des wirtschaftlichen Gleichgewichts” (p.38).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ritzema was proved wrong. In 1995, the population in England and Wales was 51,272,000. See National Statistics UK (2005), table 1.2 of Population Trends 120.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Reddaway (1939), 231.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hansen (1939), 7.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pitchford (1974), chapter 4. See also Pitchford (1972).Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    Kurz (1982), 238.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    The same result is concluded by Jackson (1991).Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Kurz (1982), 244.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    In a closed economy this implies a negative saving ratio. In an open economy the coexistence of a negative investment ratio and positive savings ratio may be possible. The difference is the capital export ratio (> 0). A declining capital stock can be the result of 1) non-replacement of used factors, 2) consumption of production factors, 3) destruction of production factors and 4) in an open economy, export of production factors. See Schmitt-Rink (1986).Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Schmitt-Rink (1986), 71. This result was also obtained by Cigno (1981, 1984). Ritschl (1986) shows that a steady state is possible with any population growth rate assuming a certain saving function. This was already proposed by Solow (1956), 80–82. In the case of a savings function where savings are proportional to the difference between the actual profit income and its zero investment level (see Ritschl (1986), 165) the stability of the steady state is no longer affected by the sign of n. The only restriction is that n does not fall short of the depreciation rate.Google Scholar
  14. 16.
    Under the assumption \( \dot A = \delta H_A A^\theta \), for θ = 1 the relationship is linear. If instead, 0 < θ < 1, the growth rate of Y falls to zero. For θ > 1, outcome Y grows without bound. The model works only under the assumption that θ =1. See Solow (2001), 152.Google Scholar
  15. 17.
    Romer (1990a), S93.Google Scholar
  16. 18.
    Romer (1990a), S94. Romer (1990b) shows how an increase in L can result in a reduction of research activities and therefore reduce economic growth. Romer (1987) shows that an increase in L would increase the rate of economic growth. In Romer (1986), “population growth is not necessary for unbounded growth in per capita income” (p. 1019).Google Scholar
  17. 19.
    See also Grossman and Helpman (1991b), chapter 4. For a model with an expansion in the range of goods, see Grossman and Helpman (1991b), chapter 3.Google Scholar
  18. 20.
    Grossman and Helpman (1991a), 50.Google Scholar
  19. 21.
    Grossman and Helpman (1991a), 50.Google Scholar
  20. 23.
    Grossman and Helpman (1991a), 51 and (1991b), l0lff.Google Scholar
  21. 24.
    Grossman and Helpman (1991b), 111.Google Scholar
  22. 25.
    Grossman and Helpman (1991b), 51, equation (16).Google Scholar
  23. 26.
    Grossman and Helpman (1991a), 57.Google Scholar
  24. 27.
    Grossman and Helpman (1991b), 137.Google Scholar
  25. 28.
    Aghion and Howitt (1992), 334.Google Scholar
  26. 29.
    Jones (1999), 139.Google Scholar
  27. 30.
    Dinopoulos and Thompson (1999), Jones (1995a).Google Scholar
  28. 31.
    Barro and Sala-i-Martin (2004), 297.Google Scholar
  29. 32.
    Peretto (1998), 289.Google Scholar
  30. 33.
    Peretto (1998), 292.Google Scholar
  31. 34.
    Peretto (1998), 296f.Google Scholar
  32. 35.
    Empirically, the prediction gy = f(L), i.e. an expansion of the workforce raises the per capita growth rate, cannot be supported. A cross-country comparison indicates that the growth rate of GDP per head bears little relation to the country’s level of population. See Barro and Sala-i-Martin (2004), 219. Kremer (1993) indicates that the correct scale variable is the world population and shows that world population is positively related to productivity growth.Google Scholar
  33. 36.
    For further discussion, see also Dalgaard and Kreiner (2003).Google Scholar
  34. 37.
    The sign in brackets indicates the direction of the influences, for example, in Jones (1995b), the population growth rate n has a positive influence on economic growth gy. In Grossman and Helpman (1991a), the influence depends on the functional form. Lucas (1988) is analysed in chapter 4.Google Scholar

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