Macroeconomic Dynamics

Articles

ECONOMIC GROWTH AND EVOLUTION: PARENTAL PREFERENCE FOR QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF OFFSPRING

Jason Collinsa1 c1, Boris Baera1 and Ernst Juerg Webera1

a1 University of Western Australia

Abstract

This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the model developed by Galor and Moav [Galor, Oded and Omer Moav (2002) Natural selection and the origin of economic growth. Quarterly Journal of Economics 117(4), 1133–1191] in which agents vary genetically in their preference for quality and quantity of children. The simulation produces a pattern of income and population growth that resembles the period of Malthusian stagnation before the Industrial Revolution and the take-off into a modern growth era. We also investigate the stability of the modern growth era as an absorbing state of the model under the introduction of a strongly quantity-preferring genotype. We show that, given the absence of a scale effect of population in the model, the economy can regress to a Malthusian state under this change in the initial distribution of genotypes.

Keywords:

  • Evolution;
  • Natural Selection;
  • Growth;
  • Education;
  • Human Capital

Correspondence

c1 Address correspondence to: Jason Collins, Economics (M251), Business School, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Perth, Western Australia 6009, Australia; e-mail: jason@jasoncollins.org.

Footnotes

  For their comments, we thank Oded Galor, Omer Moav, Tim Kam, two anonymous referees, and participants in seminars with the University of Western Australia economics discipline, UWA Centre for Evolutionary Biology, ETH Zurich experimental ecology and theoretical biology groups, and the University of Zurich's behavioral ecology group.

Metrics