Economic growth and evolution: Parental preference for quality and quantity of offspring


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.

Key Words

Evolution; Natural selection; Growth; Education; Human capital

Collaborating Partners