MEHR Seminar: Matteo Cervellati, University of Bologna, 'The Economic and Demographic Transition, Mortality, and Comparative Development'

Abstract: We present a theory of the economic and demographic transition where adult longevity, child mortality, fertility and the education composition of the population are jointly determined. The model allows to investigate the determinants of underdevelopment traps as well as the mechanism that leads to an endogenous exit out of the trap, and to assess the role of exogenous reductions in mortality and the role of permanent differences in extrinsic mortality across countries. The theory delivers a series of novel predictions which are illustrated with a simple dynamic simulation of the model. These predictions are shown to be consistent with evidence using both time series data and cross-country panel data.