Income and Population Growth

24 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2016

See all articles by Markus Brueckner

Markus Brueckner

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Hannes Schwandt

Princeton University - Center for Health and Wellbeing

Date Written: December 2015


Do populations grow as countries become richer? In this study we estimate the effects on population growth of shocks to national income that are plausibly exogenous and unlikely to be driven by technological change. For a panel of over 139 countries spanning the period 1960–2007, we interact changes in international oil prices with countries' average net‐export shares of oil in GDP. Controlling for country and time fixed effects, we find that this measure of oil price induced income growth is positively associated with population growth. The IV estimates indicate that a 1 percentage point increase in GDP per capita growth over a 10‐year period increases countries' population growth by around 0.1 percentage points. Furthermore, we find that this population effect results from both a positive effect on fertility and a negative effect on infant and child mortality.

Suggested Citation

Brueckner, Markus and Schwandt, Hannes, Income and Population Growth (December 2015). The Economic Journal, Vol. 125, Issue 589, pp. 1653-1676, 2015, Available at SSRN: or

Markus Brueckner (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

1E Kent Ridge Road
NUHS Tower Block Level 7
Singapore, 119228

Hannes Schwandt

Princeton University - Center for Health and Wellbeing ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

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