Procrastinating on January 31, 2017
Reading: Robert Allen (2011): Why the Industrial Revolution Was British: Commerce, Induced Invention and the Scientific Revolution

Reading: Michael Kremer (1993): "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990

Cursor and 2017 02 01 Econ 210a Modern Economic Growth key

Michael Kremer (1993): "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990", Quarterly Journal of Economics 108:3 (August), pp. 681-716 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2118405

Kremer's Model: 2HABt1:

  • Malthusian population dynamics
    • A possible (eventual) demographic transition once income per capita gets high enough
  • Innovation—change in log technology—proportional to population

Generates Very Strong Conclusions:

  • Eventual modern economic growth inevitable, and inescapable
  • Major determinants of when MEG takes hold:
    • Invention parameter--i.e., idea generation and then diffusion
    • The level of income per capita at which the demographic transition is generated
  • The conclusions are strong—but only as strong as the model

Five Questions:

  1. How strong is the model?

  2. Is Kremer’s theory that two-heads-are-better-than-one an adequate account of the drivers of productivity growth?

  3. Is 2HABt1 plus demographic transition an adequate account of the dynamics of per-capita real incomes?

  4. If we do decide that Kremer is inadequate, how should we improve it?

  5. What modifications to the model would overthrow Kremer's (very strong) conclusions?


Memo:

Cursor and 2017 02 01 Econ 210a Modern Economic Growth key


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key: <https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0QS8lRrIW28RLHEVG89aq6xRw#2017-02-01_Kremer_.IEH>

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