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Age structure, education, and the transmission of technical change


This paper presents a model of optimal economic growth with exogenous technical change that is embodied in people. That is, newly invented techniques can be used only if the production unit engages labour that has been trained to produce according to this new technique. The model illustrates the negative impact of slower population growth on the rate of technology adaptation. When the growth rate of population is high, the introduction of technological innovations into the production process is primarily achieved through the constant influx of recently educated young people. When the relative share of this influx is reduced, increased education becomes necessary in order to prevent the gap between technology in theory and technology in practice from becoming too large.

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I would like to thank an anonymous referee for helpful comments

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van Imhoff, E. Age structure, education, and the transmission of technical change. J Popul Econ 1, 167–181 (1989).

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  • Growth Rate
  • Economic Growth
  • Young People
  • Negative Impact
  • Population Growth