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Malthusian Stagnation is Efficient

Juan Cordoba and Xiying Liu

No 201611270800001010, ISU General Staff Papers from Iowa State University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Malthusian economies are generally deemed inefficient: stagnated, highly unequal, and densely populated by a labouring class prone to high fertility. This article defines and characterizes efficient allocations in Malthusian environments of fixed resources and endogenous fertility. We show, that under general conditions, efficient allocations exhibit stagnation in standards of living, inequality, differential fertility, and a high population density of poorer individuals.

Date: 2016-11-27
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