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Urbanization, Long-Run Growth, and the Demographic Transition

Jonathan Adams

No 1001, Working Papers from University of Florida, Department of Economics

Abstract: Advanced economies undergo three transitions during their development: 1. They transition from a rural to an urban economy. 2. They transition from low income growth to high income growth. 3. Their demographics transition from initially high fertility and mortality rates to low modern levels. The timings of these transitions are correlated in the historical development of most advanced economies. I unify complementary theories of the transitions into a nonlinear model of endogenous long run economic and demographic change. The model reproduces the timing and magnitude of the transitions. Because the model captures the interactions between all three transitions, it is able to explain three additional empirical patterns: a declining urban-rural wage gap, a declining rural-urban family size ratio, and most surprisingly, that early urbanization slows development. This third prediction distinguishes the model from other theories of long-run growth, so I test and confirm it in cross-country data.

JEL-codes: E13 J11 N10 O18 O41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-gro and nep-lab
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Journal Article: Urbanization, long-run growth, and the demographic transition (2022) Downloads
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