Economic Growth and Evolution: Parental Preference for Quality and Quantity of Offspring

Posted: 3 Jul 2013 Last revised: 28 Apr 2015

See all articles by Jason Collins

Jason Collins

The University of Western Australia - UWA Business School

Boris Baer

The University of Western Australia - Plant Energy Biology

Ernst Juerg Weber

The University of Western Australia - UWA Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2014

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.

Keywords: evolution, natural selection, growth, education, human capital

Suggested Citation

Collins, Jason and Baer, Boris and Weber, Ernst Juerg, Economic Growth and Evolution: Parental Preference for Quality and Quantity of Offspring (December 2014). (2014) Macroeconomic Dynamics 18(08), 1773-1796. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2288920

Jason Collins (Contact Author)

The University of Western Australia - UWA Business School ( email )

Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

Boris Baer

The University of Western Australia - Plant Energy Biology ( email )

Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

Ernst Juerg Weber

The University of Western Australia - UWA Business School ( email )

Crawley, WA 6009
Australia

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