195 research outputs found

    The economic and demographic transition, mortality, and comparative development

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    We propose a unified growth theory to investigate the mechanics generating the economic and demographic transition, and the role of mortality differences for comparative development. The framework can replicate the quantitative patterns in historical time series data and in contemporaneous cross-country panel data, including the bi-modal distribution of the endogenous variables across countries. The results suggest that differences in extrinsic mortality might explain a substantial part of the observed differences in the timing of the take-off across countries and the worldwide density distribution of the main variables of interest

    Inequality, Development, and the Stability of Democracy – Lipset and Three Critical Junctures in German History

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    This paper studies the endogenous emergence of political regimes, in particular democracy, oligarchy and mass dictatorship, in societies in which productive resources are distributed unequally and institutions do not ensure political commitments. The political regime is shown to depend on resource inequality as well as on economic development, reflected in the production structure. The main results imply that for any level of development there exists a distribution of resources such that democracy is the political outcome. This distribution is even independent of the particular development level if the income share generated by the poor is sufficiently large. On the other hand, there are distributions of resources for which democracy is infeasible in equilibrium irrespective of the level of development. The model also delivers results on the stability of democracy. Variations in inequality across several dimensions due to unbalanced technological change, immigration or changes in the demographic structure affect the scope for democracy or may even lead to its breakdown. The results are consistent with the different political regimes that emerged in Germany after its unification in 1871.Income inequality, development, democracy, coalition formation, factor endowments, demographic structure.

    Human Capital Accumulation, Lifetime Duration and the Process of Economic Development

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    This paper presents a microfounded theory of long-term development. We model the interplay between economic variables, namely the process of human capital formation and technological progress, and the biological constraint of finite lifetime expectancy. All these processes affect each other and are endogenously determined. The model is analytically solved and simulated for illustrative purposes. The resulting dynamics reproduce a long period of stagnant growth as well as an endogenous and rapid transition to a situation characterized by permanent growth. This transition can be interpreted as industrial revolution. Historical and empirical evidence is discussed and shown to be in line with the predictions of the model.long-term development, endogenous lifetime duration, endogenous life expectancy, human capital, technological progress, growth externalities

    On the Effects of Career Choice: Matching Efficiency of Different Occupations and Education Levels

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    This paper investigates the differences in the matching process of job seekers and vacancies to be filled between different educational and occupational groups. To investigate this issue, matching functions are estimated across different occupations and educational cohorts, that is, on an even lower level of aggregation than previously investigated in the literature, and along different dimensions. In order to rule out spurious results, the panel data are tested for stationarity applying novel panel testing techniques based on bootstrapping methods. The data used also allow to distinguish inflows into jobs by previous job status of new hires.Matching, empirical matching functions, vacancies, unemployment, occupational structure, education, stationarity in panels

    Life Expectancy and Economic Growth: The Role of the Demographic Transition

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    In this paper we investigate the causal effect of life expectancy on economic growth by explicitly accounting for the role of the demographic transition. In addition to focusing on issues of empirical identification, this paper emphasizes the role of the econometric specification. We present a simple theory of the economic and demographic transition where individuals' education and fertility decisions depend on their life expectancy. The theory predicts that before the demographic transition improvements in life expectancy primarily increase population. Improvements in life expectancy do, however, reduce population growth and foster human capital accumulation after the onset of the demographic transition. This implies that the effect of life expectancy on population, human capital and income per capita is not the same before and after the demographic transition. Moreover, a sufficiently high life expectancy is ultimately the trigger of the transition to sustained income growth. We provide evidence supporting these predictions using data on exogenous mortality reductions in the context of the epidemiological revolution.life expectancy, demographic transition, epidemiological revolution, heterogeneous treatment effects

    Democratization, Violent Social Conflicts, and Growth

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    This paper investigates the empirical role of violent conflicts for the causal effect of democracy on economic growth. Exploiting within-country variation to identify the effect of democratization during the "Third Wave", we find evidence that the effect of democratization is weaker than reported previously once one accounts for the incidence of conflict, while the incidence of conflict itself significantly reduces growth. The results show in turn that permanent democratic transitions significantly reduce the incidence and onset of conflict, which suggests that part of the positive growth effect of democratization arises because democratization reduces conflict incidence. When accounting for the role of violence during democratization, we find evidence that peaceful transitions to democracy have a significant positive effect on growth that is even larger than reported in the previous literature, while violent transitions to democracy have no, or even negative, effects on economic growth.Democratization, Armed Conict, Civil War, Economic Growth, Democratization Scenario, Peaceful Transition.

    Health, Development, and the Demographic Transition

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    This paper provides a unified theory of the economic and demographic transition. The main mechanism is based on optimal decisions about fertility and time investments in heterogeneous types of human capital. These decisions depend on different dimensions of health, which themselves are endogenously determined in the process of development. By disentangling the distinct roles that different dimensions of health, such as adult longevity, child mortality, and overall healthiness, play for education and fertility decisions, the model is able to generate dynamics that can replicate the historical development pattern in the Western world. The model generates an endogenous economic transition from a situation of sluggish growth in incomes and productivity to a modern growth regime. Closely related, a demographic transition from high mortality and high fertility to low mortality and low fertility arises, with an intermediate phase of increasing fertility despite falling mortality rates. The model can generate a positive correlation between income and fertility during early stages of development, as well as a decline net fertility in the last phase of the demographic transition, and it provides a rationale for fertility declines that precede drops in child mortalityendogenous life expectancy, child mortality, health, heterogeneous human capital, technological change

    Human Capital and Growth: Specification Matters

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    This paper suggests that the weak empirical effect of human capital on growth in existing cross-country studies is partly the result of an inappropriate specification that does not account for the different channels through which human capital aspects growth. A systematic replication of earlier results from the literature shows that both, initial levels and changes in human capital, have positive growth effects, while in isolation, each channel often appears insignificant. Studies that do not account for both channels might underestimate the effect of human capital due to convergence in human capital, in particular when measuring human capital in log average years of schooling. This study therefore complements alternative explanations for the weak growth effects of human capital based on outlier observations and measurement issues.Human Capital, Growth Regressions, Specification.

    Health and Economic Development - Evidence from the Introduction of Public Health Care

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    This paper investigates the causal effect of changes in health on economic development using a long panel of European countries. Identification is based on the particular timing of the introduction of public health care systems in different countries, which is the random outcome of a political process. We document that the introduction of public health care systems had a significant immediate effect on the dynamics of infant mortality and crude death rates. The findings suggest that a reduction in infant mortality or crude death rates exhibited a positive effect on growth in income per capita and increased population growth.Mortality, Economic Development, Growth, Public Health Care.
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