Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth
Stanford University Economics Working Paper 97-018
39 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 1998
Date Written: March 1998
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: Suggested Citation