Does economic growth mean cconomic development?


Is there a difference between economic growth and development, where development can refer to not only economic outcomes, but broader qualities of a country?

Blog Posts

External Links

Figures

Academic References

  1. Acemoglu, D. and Johnson, S. (2007) “Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth,” Journal of Political Economy, 115(6), pp. 925–985. Available at: Link.
    • Abstract

      We exploit the major international health improvements from the 1940s to estimate the effect of life expectancy on economic performance. We construct predicted mortality using preintervention mortality rates from various diseases and dates of global interventions. Predicted mortality has a large impact on changes in life expectancy starting in 1940 but no effect before 1940. Using predicted mortality as an instrument, we find that a 1 percent increase in life expectancy leads to a 1.7-2 percent increase in population. Life expectancy has a much smaller effect on total GDP, however. Consequently, there is no evidence that the large increase in life expectancy raised income per capita. (c) 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

  2. Bleakley, H. (2010) “Malaria Eradication in the Americas: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Exposure,” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2(2), pp. 1–45. Available at: Link.
    • Abstract

      This study uses the malaria-eradication campaigns in the United States (circa 1920) and in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico (circa 1955) to measure how much childhood exposure to malaria depresses labor productivity. The campaigns began because of advances in health technology, which mitigates concerns about reverse causality. Malarious areas saw large drops in the disease thereafter. Relative to non-malarious areas, cohorts born after eradication had higher income as adults than the preceding generation. These cross-cohort changes coincided with childhood exposure to the campaigns rather than to pre-existing trends. Estimates suggest a substantial, though not predominant, role for malaria in explaining cross-region differences in income. (JEL I12, I18, J13, O15)

  3. Bleakley, H. (2007) “Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122(1), pp. 73–117. Available at: Link.
    • Abstract

      This study evaluates the economic consequences of the successful eradication of hookworm disease from the American South, which started circa 1910. The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission (RSC) surveyed infection rates and found that 40 percent of school-aged children in the South were infected with hookworm. The RSC then sponsored treatment and education campaigns across the region. Follow-up studies indicate that this campaign substantially reduced hookworm disease almost immediately. Areas with higher levels of hookworm infection prior to the RSC experienced greater increases in school enrollment, attendance, and literacy after the intervention. No significant contemporaneous results are found for literacy or occupational shifts among adults, who had negligible prior infection rates. A long-term follow-up indicates a substantial gain in income that coincided with exposure to hookworm eradication. I also find evidence that the return to schooling increased with eradication. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  4. Bleakley, H. and Lange, F. (2009) “Chronic Disease Burden and the Interaction of Education, Fertility, and Growth,” The Review of Economics and Statistics, 91(1), pp. 52–65. Available at: Link.
    • Abstract

      This study considers the eradication of hookworm disease from the American South (circa 1910) as a test of the quantity-quality (Q-Q) framework of fertility. Eradication was principally a shock to the price of quality because of three factors: hookworm (i) depresses the return to human capital investment, (ii) had a very low case-fatality rate, and (iii) had negligible prevalence among adults. Consistent with the Q-Q model, we find a significant decline in fertility associated with eradication. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  5. Bloom, D. E. and Williamson, J. G. (1998) “Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia,” World Bank Economic Review, 12(3), pp. 419–55. Available at: Link.
    • Abstract

      The demographic transition a change from high to low rates of mortality and fertility has been more dramatic in East Asia during this century than in any other region or historical period. By introducing demographic variables into an empirical model of economic growth, this essay shows that this transition has contributed substantially to East Asia’s so-called economic miracle. The ’miracle’ occurred in part because East Asia’s demographic transition resulted in its working-age population growing at a much faster pace than its dependent population during the period 1965-1990, thereby expanding the per capita productive capacity of East Asian economies. This effect was not inevitable; rather, it occured because East Asian countries had social, economic, and political institutions and policies that allowed them to realize the growth potential created by the transition. The empirical analyses indicate that population growth has a purely transitional effect on economic growth; this effect operates only when the dependent and working-age populations are growing at different rates. An important implication of these results is that future demographic change will tend to depress growth rates in East Asia, while it will promote more rapid economic growth in Southeast and South Asia.

      (This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

      </details></li> </ul> </div> </li>
    • Bloom, D. E., Canning, D. and Fink, G. (2014) “Disease and Development Revisited,” Journal of Political Economy, 122(6), pp. 1355–1366. doi: 10.1086/677189.
    • Conley, D., McCord, G. C. and Sachs, J. D. (2007) Africa’s Lagging Demographic Transition: Evidence from Exogenous Impacts of Malaria Ecology and Agricultural Technology. NBER Working Papers 12892. National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Available at: Link.
      • Abstract

        Much of Africa has not yet gone through a "demographic transition" to reduced mortality and fertility rates. The fact that the continent’s countries remain mired in a Malthusian crisis of high mortality, high fertility, and rapid population growth (with an accompanying state of chronic extreme poverty) has been attributed to many factors ranging from the status of women, pro-natalist policies, poverty itself, and social institutions. There remains, however, a large degree of uncertainty among demographers as to the relative importance of these factors on a comparative or historical basis. Moreover, econometric estimation is complicated by endogeneity among fertility and other variables of interest. We attempt to improve estimation (particularly of the effect of the child mortality variable) by deploying exogenous variation in the ecology of malaria transmission and in agricultural productivity through the staggered introduction of Green Revolution, high-yield seed varieties. Results show that child mortality (proxied by infant mortality) is by far the most important factor among those explaining aggregate total fertility rates, followed by farm productivity. Female literacy (or schooling) and aggregate income do not seem to matter as much, comparatively.

    • Davis, K. (1956) “The Amazing Decline of Mortality in Underdeveloped Areas,” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 46, pp. 305–18.
    • Doepke, M. and Zilibotti, F. (2005) “The macroeconomics of child labor regulation,” The American economic review. American Economic Association, 95(5), pp. 1492–1524.
      • Abstract

        We develop a positive theory of the adoption of child labor laws. Workers who compete with children in the labor market support a child labor ban, unless their own working children provide a large fraction of family income. Fertility decisions lock agents into specific political preferences, and multiple steady states can arise. The introduction of child labor laws can be triggered by skill-biased technological change, which induces parents to choose smaller families. The theory can account for the observation that, in Britain, regulations were first introduced after a period of rising wage inequality, and coincided with rapid fertility decline.

    • Fogel, R. W. (2004) The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100. Cambridge University Press.
    • Manuelli, R. and Seshadri, A. (2009) “Explaining International Fertility Differences,” Quarterly Journal of Economics. MIT Press, 124(2), pp. 771–807. Available at: Link.
      • Abstract

        Why do fertility rates vary so much across countries? Why are European fertility rates so much lower than American fertility rates? To answer these questions we extend the Barro-Becker framework to incorporate the decision to accumulate human capital (which determines earnings) and health capital (which determines life span). We find that cross-country differences in productivity and taxes go a long way toward explaining the observed differences in fertility and mortality.

    • Preston, S. H. (1975) “The Changing Relation between Mortality and Level of Economic Development,” Population Studies, 29, pp. 231–48.
    • Vogl, T. (2017) Aggregating the Fertility Transition: Intergenerational Dynamics in Quality and Quantity. NBER Working Papers 23081. National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Available at: Link.
      • Abstract

        Fertility change is distinct from other forms of social and economic change because it directly alters the size and composition of the next generation. This paper studies how changes in population composition over the fertility transition feed back into the evolution of average fertility across generations. Theory predicts that changes in the relationship between human capital and fertility first weaken and then strengthen fertility similarities between mothers and daughters, a process that first promotes and then restricts aggregate fertility decline. Consistent with these predictions, microdata from 40 developing countries over the second half of the 20th century show that intergenerational fertility associations strengthen late in the fertility transition, due to the alignment of the education-fertility relationship across generations. As fertility approaches the replacement level, the strengthening of these associations reweights the population to raise aggregate fertility rates, pushing back against aggregate fertility decline.

    • Young, A. (2005) “The Gift of the Dying: The Tragedy of Aids and the Welfare of Future African Generations,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120(2), pp. 423–466. Available at: Link.
      • Abstract

        This paper simulates the impact of the AIDS epidemic on future living standards in South Africa. I emphasize two competing effects. On the one hand, the epidemic is likely to have a detrimental impact on the human capital accumulation of orphaned children. On the other hand, widespread community infection lowers fertility, both directly, through a reduction in the willingness to engage in unprotected sexual activity, and indirectly, by increasing the scarcity of labor and the value of a woman’s time. I find that even with the most pessimistic assumptions concerning reductions in educational attainment, the fertility effect dominates. The AIDS epidemic, on net, enhances the future per capita consumption possibilities of the South African economy. \copyright 2005 MIT Press

    • </ol>

Back to blog

Share and Discuss