Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth

30 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2000 Last revised: 7 Oct 2010

See all articles by Charles I. Jones

Charles I. Jones

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: November 1997

Abstract

Why do economies exhibit sustained growth in per capita income? This paper argues that endogenous fertility and increasing returns to scale are the fundamental ingredients in understanding endogenous growth. Endogenous fertility leads the scale of the economy to grow over time. Increasing returns translates this increase in scale into rising per capita income. A justification for increasing returns rather than linearity in the equation for technological progress is the fundamental insight of the idea-based growth literature according to this view. Endogenous fertility together with the increasing returns associated with the nonrivalry of ideas generates endogenous growth.

Suggested Citation

Jones, Charles I., Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth (November 1997). NBER Working Paper No. w6285. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226042

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