This paper analyzes the conditions under which, within a two-sector endogenous growth model with human and physical capital accumulation but without R&D-driven disembodied technological progress, it is possible to observe an ambiguous effect of population growth on economic growth, as empirical evidence suggests. We present three models. In each of them the engine of long-run growth is human capital accumulation. Population growth exerts ambiguous effects on economic growth only when human and physical capital are complementary for each other in the production of new human capital. This result is explained in terms of the interplay between the “dilution” and “accumulation” effects. In accordance with the growth literature exhibiting endogenous human capital accumulation and R&D activity, we also find that income growth can be positive even with stable population, that both the growth rate and the level of per-capita income are independent of population size, and finally that the level of per-capita income is proportional to per-capita human capital. We conclude that it is possible to reach the same results even without explicitly assuming endogenous and purposeful investment in research by firms
Population Size and Growth, Scale Effects, Per-Capita Income; Economic Growth, Human Capital Investment, Physical Capital Accumulation
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