DP9337 The Economic and Demographic Transition, Mortality, and Comparative Development

Author(s): Matteo Cervellati, Uwe Sunde
Publication Date: February 2013
Keyword(s): adult mortality, child mortality, comparative development, development traps, economic and demographic transition, heterogeneous human capital, quantitative analysis, unified growth model
JEL(s): E10, J10, J13, N30, O10, O40
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9337

We propose a unified growth theory to investigate the mechanics generating the economic and demographic transition, and the role of mortality differences for comparative development. The framework can replicate the quantitative patterns in historical time series data and in contemporaneous cross-country panel data, including the bi-modal distribution of the endogenous variables across countries. The results suggest that differences in extrinsic mortality might explain a substantial part of the observed differences in the timing of the take-off across countries and the worldwide density distribution of the main variables of interest.