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The role of demography on per capita output growth and saving rates

  • Economics


Computable OLG growth models and "convergence models" differ in their assessment of the extent to which demography influences economic growth. In this paper, I show that computable OLG growth models produce results similar to those of convergence models when more detailed demographic information is used. To do so, I implement a general equilibrium overlapping generations model to explain Taiwan's economic miracle during the period 1965-2005. I find that Taiwan's demographic transition accounts for 22% of per capita output growth, 16.4% of the investment rate, and 18.5% of the savings rate for the period 1965-2005. Decomposing the demographic effect into its components, I find that fertility alone explains the impact of demographic changes in per capita output growth, while both fertility and mortality explain investment and saving rates. Assuming a small open economy, I find that investment rates increase with more rapid population growth, while saving rates follows the dependence hypothesis (Coale and Hoover, 1958). Under a closed-economy, the population growth rate has a negative influence on economic growth.

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