DP1981 Population, Technology and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition

Author(s): Oded Galor, David Weil
Publication Date: September 1998
Keyword(s): demographic transition, Fertility, Growth, Malthusian trap, Population Growth, Technological Change
JEL(s): J13, O11, O33, O40
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=1981

This paper develops a unified model of growth, population, and technological progress that is consistent with long-term historical evidence. The economy endogenously evolves through three phases. In the Malthusian regime, population growth is positively related to the level of income per capita. Technological progress is slow and is matched by proportional increases in population, so that output per capita is stable around a constant level. In the post-Malthusian regime, the growth rates of technology and total output increase. Population growth absorbs much of the growth of output, but income per capita does rise slowly. The economy endogenously undergoes a demographic transition in which the traditionally positive relationship between income per capita and population growth is reversed. In the Modern Growth regime, population growth is moderate and income per capita rises rapidly.