MPIDR Working Paper

Agricultural productivity growth and escape from the Malthusian trap

Kögel, T., Prskawetz, A.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2000-002 (Februar 2000).
Rostock, Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

Revised October 2000. Also published as CEPR Discussion Paper No. 2485.

Schlagworte: demographic transition, economic growth, Malthusian theory, population growth


Industrialization allowed the industrialized world of today to escape from a regime characterized by low economic and population growth and to enter a regime of hihg economic and population growth. To explain this transion of regime, we construct a two-sector growth model with endogenous fertility and endogenous technological progress in the manufacturing sector. With this structure our model is able to replicate the stylized facts of the British industrial revolution. In addition, we show that industrialization requires rising growth of agricultural total factor productivity. This result is in marked contrast to previous work within a similar framework - but with a constant population - wich came to the conclusion that industrialization requires merely a rising level of agricultural total factor productivity. We conclude by illustrating that our proposed model framework can be extended to also include the demographic transition, i.e., a regime where economic growth may lead to decreasing fertility. (AUTHORS)