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Monday, June 30, 2003

Eureka it Works!!!

Many thanks to Mattias from Sweden for suggesting to me a bit of 'googling' on 'bo malmberg' age structure. I have only had an initial glance but the material looks very promising. This is what the 'information revolution' is really about, connecting one random neurone with another, at lightning speed too. Watch out Joerg, another beta 1.0 may soon become a beta 1.1. Here comes one abstract:

Four phases in the demographic transition. Implications for economic and social development.

Abstract. Traditionally, the demographic transition model has focused primarily on long-term changes in mortality rates, fertility rates and population growth rates. Of equal, or perhaps even greater, importance is however the transformation of the age structure that the transition engenders. In this paper we focus on this age transition and argue that: (1) The age transition is a more extended process that the mortality and fertility transition. It starts simultaneously with the mortality decline and continues almost one hundred years after a stabilization of the birth rates. (2) During the age transition population growth will be concentrated in turn to the youngest age groups, the young adult group, the middle age group and the old age group. (3) During these different phases of the age transition, the social and economic effects of population growth will be different. Poverty, child labor and low savings rates characterize the phase child abundance. The second phase, when young adults predominate, is characterized by high rates of migration, urbanization and proletarization, and by early industrialization and institutional transformation. In the third phase, when the number of middle aged increase, the economy is characterized by high savings rates and large increases in per capita income. The old age phase, finally is characterized by an increasing dependency burden, declining savings rates, inflationary pressures, an expanding public sector, and stagnating economic growth. The paper argues that these patterns may be explained by the shifts in economic behavior that take place during the life cycle. Recent studies of age structure effects on macro-economic variables are referred. The argument is illustrated with historical examples from Sweden, England, and Western Europe, along with modern examples from Asia, Africa and Latin-America.

and another

Thomas Lindh and Bo Malmberg: Age structure change and long-term economic growth in the Western World.

Abstract.In this paper we use Maddison (1991) data to analyze if changes in the age structure can account for shifts in the growth rate of per capita income in the Western world during the last 150 years. Our results show that there is a strong correlation between age structure shifts and changes in the economic growth rate. This confirms the results recently obtained on modern data by Lindh & Malmberg (1999) and Bloom & Canning (1999). An important result is that some groups, especially the middle aged (40-59 years), have a positive effect on growth, whereas other groups have a negative effect. This implies that studies that ignore the age decomposition of population growth will draw erroneous conclusions regarding the role of demographic factors in economic development. In fact, the apparently contradictory views of Malthus and Boserup may be reconciled once it is acknowledged that different age groups affect economic development in different ways.

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