MPIDR Working Paper

Agricultural productivity growth and escape from the Malthusian trap

Kögel, T., Prskawetz, A.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2000-002
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (February 2000)
Revised October 2000. Also published as CEPR Discussion Paper No. 2485.
Open Access


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)
Keywords: demographic transition, economic growth, Malthusian theory, population growth
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.