, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 1-25

The role of fertility and population in economic growth

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Abstract

Two recently improved sets of cross-country panel data are combined in order to re-examine the effects of population growth and fertility on economic growth. Using a 107 country panel data set covering 1960-85, we find that high birth rates appear to reduce economic growth through investment effects and possibly through “capital dilution”, although classic resource dilution is not evident in the data. Most significantly, however, birth rate declines have a strong medium-term positive impact on per capita income growth through labour supply or “dependency” effects.