Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 953–970 | Cite as

Endogenous growth and demographic transition in a model of cultural transmission

  • Roman Zakharenko
Regular Article


Demographic transition theory is developed highlighting cultural transmission pattern as a key driver. Individuals maximize cultural fitness, i.e. the rate of own cultural type absorption by future generations. With low population density, one’s culture can be picked up only by own children, and so cultural fitness equals genetic fitness, individuals allocate all energy surplus to reproduction, and the Malthusian regime occurs. With rising population density, cultural transmission between non-relatives accelerates; knowledge production by an individual makes his culture more attractive. Individuals reallocate some of energy surplus from reproduction to knowledge production, causing technological growth. The model fits observed demographic transition patterns.


Endogenous growth Cultural transmission Demographic transition 

JEL Classification

J11 O44 Z19 



The article was prepared within the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) supported within the framework of a subsidy granted to the HSE by the Government of the Russian Federation for the implementation of the Global Competitiveness Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian FederationMoscowRussia

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