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Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990

Michael Kremer
The Quarterly Journal of Economics
Vol. 108, No. 3 (Aug., 1993), pp. 681-716
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2118405
Page Count: 36
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Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990
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Abstract

The nonrivalry of technology, as modeled in the endogenous growth literature, implies that high population spurs technological change. This paper constructs and empirically tests a model of long-run world population growth combining this implication with the Malthusian assumption that technology limits population. The model predicts that over most of history, the growth rate of population will be proportional to its level. Empirical tests support this prediction and show that historically, among societies with no possibility for technological contact, those with larger initial populations have had faster technological change and population growth.

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