The End of Economic Growth? Unintended Consequences of a Declining Population
NBER Working Paper No. 26651
In many models, economic growth is driven by people discovering new ideas. These models typically assume either a constant or a growing population. However, in high income countries today, fertility is already below its replacement rate: women are having fewer than two children on average. It is a distinct possibility — highlighted in the recent book, “Empty Planet” — that global population will decline rather than stabilize in the long run. What happens to economic growth when population growth turns negative?
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26651