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Demographic transition and economic growth: Empirical evidence from Greece


Over the past decades, due to a combination of declining fertility rates and rising life expectancies, most industrialized countries have experienced aging populations and low numbers of young populations that may pose economic problems in the future. This paper investigates the relationship first between fertility rate and infant mortality rate and second among demographic changes, real wages and real output in Greece over the period 1960–96. When we control for fluctuations in overall economic activity and the labor market on the bivariate relationship between fertility and mortality rates, the evidence suggests that Granger-causation must exist in at least one direction. The results show that in the long run a decrease in infant mortality rates, taking into consideration economic performance and the labor market, causes a reduction in fertility rates. Also, employing the vector error-correction models, the variance decomposition analysis and the impulse response functions, the empirical results support the endogeneity of fertility choice to infant mortality, the labor market and the growth process.

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Received: 16 May 1999/Accepted: 18 September 2000

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Hondroyiannis, G., Papapetrou, E. Demographic transition and economic growth: Empirical evidence from Greece. J Popul Econ 15, 221–242 (2002).

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  • JEL classification: I12
  • J13
  • C22
  • Key words: Fertility
  • infant mortality
  • VECM