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Demographic and Economic Consequences of the Post-war Mortality Decline in Developing Countries

By Ulla Lehmijoki and Tapio Palokangas


Since World War II, mortality has decreased in the developing world. This paper explores the effects of this mortality fall on economic and demographic growth by a family-optimization model with endogenous fertility. Relative wealth yields utility through status for a family. The main findings are that the increased life expectancy generates an income stream which promotes fertility, but that the desire for status hampers fertility and warrants economic growth by preventing capital-diluting demographic expansion. If status-seeking is strong, population growth decreases below its original level in the long run. In the short run, population growth overshoots

Topics: Journal of Economic Literature, O41, J13, J10, O10 Keywords, mortality, population growth, economic growth
Year: 2010
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