Human Capital-based Growth with Depopulation and Class-size Effects: Theory and Empirics

Bucci AlbertoCarbonari LorenzoTrovato GiovanniTrivin Pedro
CEIS Research Paper
Building on Lucas (1988), we develop a model in which the impact of population dynamics on per capita GDP and human capital depends on the balance of intertemporal altruism effects towards future generations and class-size effects on an individual’s education investment. We show that there is a critical level of the class-size effect that determines whether a decline in population growth will lead to a decrease or an increase in a country’s long-run growth rate of real per capita income. We take the model to OECD data, using a semi-parametric technique. This allows us to classify countries into groups based on their long-term growth trajectories, revealing patterns not captured by previous studies on the topic.

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Number: 575
Keywords: Long-run economic growth; Depopulation; Class-size effects; Human capital investment.
JEL codes: J11, O11, O41
Volume: 22
Issue: 2
Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Revision Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2024