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Evolution of recent economic-demographic modeling: A synthesis


This paper develops a flexible framework for modeling population's role in economic growth by assessing and extending a rendering suggested by several Harvard economists. Our framework includes a ``productivity'' model explaining output-per-worker growth and a ``translation'' model translating that growth into per-capita terms. We specify a core economic model and several ``enriched'' demographic variants that include dependency, size, and density. Regressions using a cross-country panel spanning the period 1960-1995 reveal that combined impacts of demographic change have accounted for approximately 20% of per capita output growth impacts, with larger shares in Asia and Europe.

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Correspondence to Robert M. Schmidt.

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An earlier draft of this paper was presented at a conference on ``Population Change, Labor Market Transition and Economic Development in Asia,'' Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 6–9 December 2002. A pre-publication version of this paper will be presented at a joint conference (by COE/JEPA) entitled ``Towards a new economic paradigm: Declining population growth, labor market transition and economic development under globalization,'' held at the Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center, Kobe, Japan, 17–19 December 2005. We have benefited from comments by Michelle Connolly, Andrew Mason, Pietro Peretto, Warren Sanderson, Alessandro Tarozzi, Jeffrey Williamson, and two anonymous referees.

Responsible editor: Junsen Zhang.

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Kelley, A.C., Schmidt, R.M. Evolution of recent economic-demographic modeling: A synthesis. J Popul Econ 18, 275–300 (2005).

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JEL classification

  • O11
  • J1
  • O4


  • Demography
  • convergence
  • growth