DP4714 The Demographic Transition and the Emergence of Sustained Economic Growth

Author(s): Oded Galor
Publication Date: October 2004
Keyword(s): demographic transition, evolution, growth, human capital, malthusian stagnation, technological progress
JEL(s): J11, J13, O11, O14, O33, O40
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4714

The demographic transition that swept the world in the course of the last century has been identified as one of the prime forces in the transition from stagnation to growth. The unprecedented increase in population growth during the early stages of industrialization was ultimately reversed and the demographic transition brought about a significant reduction in fertility rates and population growth in various regions of the world, enabling economies to convert a larger share of the fruits of factor accumulation and technological progress into growth of income per capita. This Paper examines various mechanisms that have been proposed as possible triggers for the demographic transition, assessing their empirical validity, and their potential role in the transition from stagnation to growth.