NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Population and Ideas: A Theory of Endogenous Growth

Charles I. Jones

NBER Working Paper No. 6285
Issued in November 1997
NBER Program(s):   EFG

Why do economies exhibit sustained growth in per capita income? This paper argues that endogenous fertility and increasing returns to scale are the fundamental ingredients in understanding endogenous growth. Endogenous fertility leads the scale of the economy to grow over time. Increasing returns translates this increase in scale into rising per capita income. A justification for increasing returns rather than linearity in the equation for technological progress is the fundamental insight of the idea-based growth literature according to this view. Endogenous fertility together with the increasing returns associated with the nonrivalry of ideas generates endogenous growth.

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Published: Published as "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models", Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 110, no. 2 (1995): 495-525.

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