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Population Growth and Economic Growth: Some More Correlations

Robin Barlow
Population and Development Review
Vol. 20, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 153-165
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2137634
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137634
Page Count: 13
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Population Growth and Economic Growth: Some More Correlations
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Abstract

Several studies using national data have shown that per capita income growth rates are uncorrelated with population growth rates. These results have been interpreted as supporting the "revisionist" position that slower population growth does not cause faster economic development. In this analysis, which draws on data from 86 countries, lagged fertility is added to the current rate of population growth as a predictor of the per capita income growth rate. The three-variable model shows per capita income growth to be negatively related to current population growth and positively related to lagged fertility. Statistical and economic explanations for this result are examined. Inferences are drawn about the relationship between the demographic transition and economic performance. Some implications for the debate between revisionists and Malthusians are noted.

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