The Scientific Revolution and its Role in the Transition To Sustained Economic Growth

33 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2021

See all articles by Sibylle Lehmann-Hasemeyer

Sibylle Lehmann-Hasemeyer

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics

Klaus Prettner

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics

Paul Tscheuschner

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics

Abstract

We analyze the role of the Scientific Revolution in the takeoff to sustained economic growth. Basic scientific knowledge is a necessary input in the production of applied knowledge, which, in turn, fuels productivity growth and leads to rising incomes. Subsequently, rising incomes instigate a fertility transition and foster education investments. Together, the increasing stocks of basic scientific knowledge and human capital, and the concomitant reduction in fertility enable the takeoff to sustained economic growth. In regions where scientific inquiry is severely constrained---for example, because of religious reasons or because of oppressive rulers---the takeoff is delayed or might not occur at all. Our framework describes a mechanism for the latent transition towards the takeoff that could contribute to the understanding of why sustained economic growth emerged first in Europe and not in technologically more advanced China.

Keywords: Scientific Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Demographic Transition, Basic Science, Applied Science, Takeoff to Sustained Growth, Unified Growth Theory

JEL Classification: O11, O31, O33, O41

Suggested Citation

Lehmann-Hasemeyer, Sibylle and Prettner, Klaus and Tscheuschner, Paul, The Scientific Revolution and its Role in the Transition To Sustained Economic Growth. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3992257 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3992257

Sibylle Lehmann-Hasemeyer (Contact Author)

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics ( email )

Schloss-Mittelhof (Ost)
70593 Stuttgart
Germany

Klaus Prettner

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Augasse 2-6
A-1090 Wien
Austria

Paul Tscheuschner

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics ( email )

Schloss-Mittelhof (Ost)
70593 Stuttgart
Germany

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