Demography, growth, and inequality

Mierau, Jochen; Turnovsky, Stephen
January 2014
Economic Theory;Jan2014, Vol. 55 Issue 1, p29
Academic Journal
We extend the single-sector endogenous growth model to allow for a general demographic structure. The model shows that due to the 'generational turnover term,' the equilibrium growth rate is less than that of a representative agent model. We find the local dynamics about the balanced growth path (bgp) to be unstable, implying that the bgp is the only viable equilibrium. Using numerical simulations, we analyze how economic consequences of a change in the population growth rate differ, depending on the source of the demographic change. In addition, we analyze the relationship between changes in the demographic structure and what we call the 'natural rate of wealth inequality'. Finally, we use our model to study how the demographic transition experienced by the United States has affected the economic growth rate and the degree of wealth inequality.


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