The End of Economic Growth? Unintended Consequences of a Declining Population

44 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2020

See all articles by Charles I. Jones

Charles I. Jones

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

Date Written: January 2020

Abstract

In many models, economic growth is driven by people discovering new ideas. These models typically assume either a constant or a growing population. However, in high income countries today, fertility is already below its replacement rate: women are having fewer than two children on average. It is a distinct possibility — highlighted in the recent book, “Empty Planet” — that global population will decline rather than stabilize in the long run. What happens to economic growth when population growth turns negative?

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Suggested Citation

Jones, Charles I., The End of Economic Growth? Unintended Consequences of a Declining Population (January 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w26651. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3518263

Charles I. Jones (Contact Author)

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