Aggregate population and economic growth correlations: The role of the components of demographic change
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The results of recent correlations showing a negative impact of population growth on economic development in cross-country data for the 1980s, versus “nonsignificant” correlations widely found for the 1960s and 1970s, are examined with contemporaneous and lagged components of demographic change, convergence-type economic modeling, and several statistical frameworks. The separate impacts of births and deaths are found to be notable but offsetting in the earlier periods. In contrast, the short-run costs (benefits) of births (mortality reduction) increase (decrease) significantly in the 1980s, and the favorable labor-force impacts of past births are not fully offsetting.
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