Essay on Population has Outgrown the Food Growth

Essay on Population has Outgrown the Food Growth

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In this paper, I brainstorm and develop certain topics that I find interesting and novel to pursue in future research. I write about two separate topics, one being theoretical, and the other empirical. In the first section, I propose an extension of the classical Malthusian model of economic growth by introducing different specification for birth and death rate income elasticities. I solve for the steady state parameter values and offer directions for future model development where land is not a fixed factor of production. In the second section, I conduct an empirical time series analysis of the impact democracy levels have on the total factor productivity (TFP) for the case of Thailand. As the next step, I propose that this study be expanded to a panel regression form. The ideas developed in this paper will serve as the cornerstone for future research in the field of development.

In 1798, the British mathematician and economist, Thomas Malthus, offered a stark prediction. By observing human mortality and fertility rates over long time periods, he concluded that the arithmetic (linear) growth in food production would never outpace the geometric (exponential) increase in population size. From here, the inevitable conclusion follows: unless acted on by outside forces, food will grow more scarce, and humanity will be forced to self-impose corrective checks in the rates of its reproduction. In a Malthusian worldview, when real incomes increase as a result of a one-time shock, the population increases. However, this shock is not permanent: increased population will again lower the living standards, as incomes spread more thinly among the populace. The corrective checks that bring the societies’ population back in the bala...

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...equilibrium relationship exists between the variables in Equation (19), I use the Johansen cointegration test. The Johansen technique estimates a vector error correction (VEC) model using all of the variables as endogenous, and gives the number of cointegrating vector that exist among them. The number of cointegrating vector roughly determine the long run relationship between the variables in question. Table 2 provides the test results. The existence of two cointegrating vector confirm that the relationship in Equation 19 is not spurious.
An interesting next step to this line of research could be to expand a single-country time series into a panel study of the relationship between TFP and institutional quality among developing economies of the 20th century, or running causality test to determine the direction of association between institutional quality and TFP.

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