Malthus was right: Explaining a millennium of stagnation

Madsen, J, Robertson, P and Ye, L 2019, 'Malthus was right: Explaining a millennium of stagnation', European Economic Review, vol. 118, pp. 51-68.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Malthus was right: Explaining a millennium of stagnation
Author(s) Madsen, J
Robertson, P
Ye, L
Year 2019
Journal name European Economic Review
Volume number 118
Start page 51
End page 68
Total pages 18
Publisher Elsevier BV
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 β-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.
Subject Economic Development and Growth
Keyword(s) Convergence
Economic development
Economic growth
Malthusian trap
Technological progress
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.05.004
Copyright notice © 2019 Elsevier
ISSN 0014-2921
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