Malthus Was Right: Explaining a Millennium of Stagnation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We develop a simple Malthusian growth model with continuous productivity growth and derive the stationary steady-state equilibrium. We show that linearisation around the steady-state gives an empirically tractable model of Malthusian wage and population behaviour using the familiar concept of beta-convergence. Our empirical strategy addresses the concern in the literature over model identification and inconsistent parameter estimates. Based on newly constructed population data, we estimate wage and population growth models using panel data for up to 17 countries from 900CE to 1870CE. Our results provide the first time-series evidence of a strong Malthusian trap that was pervasive across countries and time before the 19th century industrial revolution. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-68
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Volume118
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Fingerprint

Growth model
Stagnation
Malthus
Panel data
Linearization
Trap
Wage growth
Industrial revolution
β-convergence
Wages
Productivity growth
Population growth

Cite this

@article{6743d34f578248d9b6a1934775e6b30a,
title = "Malthus Was Right: Explaining a Millennium of Stagnation",
abstract = "We develop a simple Malthusian growth model with continuous productivity growth and derive the stationary steady-state equilibrium. We show that linearisation around the steady-state gives an empirically tractable model of Malthusian wage and population behaviour using the familiar concept of beta-convergence. Our empirical strategy addresses the concern in the literature over model identification and inconsistent parameter estimates. Based on newly constructed population data, we estimate wage and population growth models using panel data for up to 17 countries from 900CE to 1870CE. Our results provide the first time-series evidence of a strong Malthusian trap that was pervasive across countries and time before the 19th century industrial revolution. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.",
author = "Madsen, {Jakob B.} and Robertson, {Peter E.} and Longfeng Ye",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.05.004",
language = "English",
volume = "118",
pages = "51--68",
journal = "European Economic Review",
issn = "0014-2921",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Malthus Was Right: Explaining a Millennium of Stagnation. / Madsen, Jakob B.; Robertson, Peter E.; Ye, Longfeng.

In: European Economic Review, Vol. 118, 09.2019, p. 51-68.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Malthus Was Right: Explaining a Millennium of Stagnation

AU - Madsen, Jakob B.

AU - Robertson, Peter E.

AU - Ye, Longfeng

PY - 2019/9

Y1 - 2019/9

N2 - We develop a simple Malthusian growth model with continuous productivity growth and derive the stationary steady-state equilibrium. We show that linearisation around the steady-state gives an empirically tractable model of Malthusian wage and population behaviour using the familiar concept of beta-convergence. Our empirical strategy addresses the concern in the literature over model identification and inconsistent parameter estimates. Based on newly constructed population data, we estimate wage and population growth models using panel data for up to 17 countries from 900CE to 1870CE. Our results provide the first time-series evidence of a strong Malthusian trap that was pervasive across countries and time before the 19th century industrial revolution. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

AB - We develop a simple Malthusian growth model with continuous productivity growth and derive the stationary steady-state equilibrium. We show that linearisation around the steady-state gives an empirically tractable model of Malthusian wage and population behaviour using the familiar concept of beta-convergence. Our empirical strategy addresses the concern in the literature over model identification and inconsistent parameter estimates. Based on newly constructed population data, we estimate wage and population growth models using panel data for up to 17 countries from 900CE to 1870CE. Our results provide the first time-series evidence of a strong Malthusian trap that was pervasive across countries and time before the 19th century industrial revolution. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/malthus-right-explaining-millennium-stagnation

U2 - 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.05.004

DO - 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.05.004

M3 - Article

VL - 118

SP - 51

EP - 68

JO - European Economic Review

JF - European Economic Review

SN - 0014-2921

ER -