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Luddites and the Demographic Transition

Kevin O'Rourke, Ahmed Rahman and Alan Taylor

No 14484, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Technological change was unskilled-labor-biased during the early Industrial Revolution, but is skill-biased today. This is not embedded in extant unified growth models. We develop a model which can endogenously account for these facts, where factor bias reflects profit-maximizing decisions by innovators. Endowments dictate that the early Industrial Revolution be unskilled-labor-biased. Increasing basic knowledge causes a growth takeoff, an income-led demand for fewer educated children, and the transition to skill-biased technological change. The simulated model tracks British industrialization in the 18th and 19th centuries and generates a demographic transition without relying on either rising skill premia or exogenous educational supply shocks.

JEL-codes: J13 J24 N10 O31 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge, nep-his and nep-lab
Note: DAE
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (16)

Published as Journal of Economic Growth December 2013, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 373-409 Luddites, the industrial revolution, and the demographic transition Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, Ahmed S. Rahman, Alan M. Taylor

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