Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth

Stanford University Economics Working Paper 97-018

39 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 1998

See all articles by Charles I. Jones

Charles I. Jones

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 1998

Abstract

How is sustained, exponential growth in per capita income possible? This paper argues that endogenous fertility and the increasing returns to scale implied by the non-rivalry of ideas are the fundamental ingredients in understanding endogenous growth. Large populations contain more Isaac Newtons and Thomas Edisons than small populations, leading to more ideas. The non-rivalry of ideas means that more ideas are associated with a higher per capita income. Combining these insights, exponential growth in the population will lead to exponential growth in per capita income.

JEL Classification: E23, O31

Suggested Citation

Jones, Charles I., Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth (March 1998). Stanford University Economics Working Paper 97-018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=78688 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.78688

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