On Induced Economic Change In Precapitalist Societies

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Journal Of Development Economics


This essay explores a number of properties of a general growth model of induced economic change in precapitalist societies which incorporates both the insights of Ester Boserup and Thomas Malthus. Responses to diminishing returns include changes in work intensity and population growth. Some important variants of the model are also examined which focus on the transfer of production to non-producers and on alternative processes by which change is induced. The results are used to generate some parameters influencing the political stability of non-working elites; to criticize some previous, less general, growth models; and to suggest some fruitful lines fot future empirical research on economic development in the long run.

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