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ECONOMIC GROWTH AND EVOLUTION: PARENTAL PREFERENCE FOR QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF OFFSPRING

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 June 2013

Jason Collins*
Affiliation:
University of Western Australia
Boris Baer
Affiliation:
University of Western Australia
Ernst Juerg Weber
Affiliation:
University of Western Australia
*
Address correspondence to: Jason Collins, Economics (M251), Business School, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Perth, Western Australia 6009, Australia; e-mail: jason@jasoncollins.org.

Abstract

This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the model developed by Galor and Moav [Galor, Oded and Omer Moav (2002) Natural selection and the origin of economic growth. Quarterly Journal of Economics 117(4), 1133–1191] in which agents vary genetically in their preference for quality and quantity of children. The simulation produces a pattern of income and population growth that resembles the period of Malthusian stagnation before the Industrial Revolution and the take-off into a modern growth era. We also investigate the stability of the modern growth era as an absorbing state of the model under the introduction of a strongly quantity-preferring genotype. We show that, given the absence of a scale effect of population in the model, the economy can regress to a Malthusian state under this change in the initial distribution of genotypes.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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ECONOMIC GROWTH AND EVOLUTION: PARENTAL PREFERENCE FOR QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF OFFSPRING
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