Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth
Charles I. Jones
December 3, 1998 -- Version 4.0 All growth models are linear in some sense, and the endogenous growth literature can be read as the search for the appropriate linear differential equation. Linearity is a "crucial" assumption, in the sense used by Solow (1956), and it therefore seems reasonable to ask that this assumption have an intuitive and compelling justification. This paper proposes that such a justification can be found if the linearity is located in an endogenous fertility equation. It is a fact of nature that the law of motion for population is linear: people reproduce in proportion to their number. By itself, this linearity will not generate per capita growth, but it is nevertheless the first crucial ingredient of such a model. The second crucial ingredient is increasing returns to scale. A justification for increasing returns, rather than linearity in the equation for technological progress, is the fundamental insight of the idea-based growth literature according to this view. Endogenous fertility together with increasing returns generates endogenous growth.
Why do economies exhibit sustained growth in per capita income? This paper argues that endogenous fertility and increasing returns to scale are the fundamental ingredients in understanding endogenous growth. Endogenous fertility leads the scale of the economy to grow over time. Increasing returns translates this increase in scale into rising per capita income. A justification for increasing returns rather than linearity in the equation for technological progress is the fundamental insight of the idea-based growth literature according to this view. Endogenous fertility together with the increasing returns associated with the nonrivalry of ideas generates endogenous growth.
In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to,
you must first login
or sign up.
Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by
clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.