WP-12: Geographic factors, growth and divergence
This paper develops a unified growth model capturing issues of endogenous economic growth, fertility and technological progress considering the effects of geographical conditions to interpret the long transition from Malthusian stagnation, through demographic transition to modern sustained growth, and the great divergence in GDP per capita across societies. The paper shows how the interplay of size of “land” and its “accessibility” and technological progress play a very important role for an economy to escape Malthusian stagnation and to take off. Thus differences in these geographical factors lead to differences in take-off timings, generating great divergence across societies.
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