Skip to Main Navigation

Demographic transitions and economic miracles in emerging Asia (English)

The demographic transition a change from high to low rates of mortality and fertility has been more dramatic in East Asia during the twentieth century than in any other region or historical period. By introducing demographic variables into an empirical model of economic growth, this article shows that this transition has contributed substantially to East Asia's so called economic miracle. The miracle occurred in part because East Asia's demographic transition resulted in its working age population growing at a much faster rate than its dependent population during 1965-90, thereby expanding the per capita productive capacity of East Asian economies. This effect was not inevitable; rather, it occurred because East Asian countries had social, economic, and political institutions and policies that allowed them to realize the growth potential created by the transition. The empirical analyses indicate that population growth has a purely transitional effect on economic growth; this effect operates only when the dependent and working age populations are growing at different rates. These results imply that future demographic change will tend to depress growth rates in East Asia, while it will promote more rapid economic growth in Southeast and South Asia.


  • Author

    Bloom, David E. Williamson, Jeffrey G.

  • Document Date


  • Document Type

    Journal Article

  • Report Number


  • Volume No


  • Total Volume(s)


  • Country


  • Region

    East Asia and Pacific, South Asia,

  • Disclosure Date


  • Disclosure Status


  • Doc Name

    Demographic transitions and economic miracles in emerging Asia

  • Keywords

    Demographic Transition;working-age population;Population Growth;economically active population;purchasing power parity term;decline in mortality;infant and child mortality;dependent population;trends in population growth;capital stock per worker;per capita income growth;School of Public Health;Massachusetts Institute of Technology;impact of population growth;total factor productivity growth;rate of population growth;demography;life expectancy;population dynamic;age structure;natural resource abundance;population growth rate;high growth rate;rapid population growth;economies of scale;output per worker;share of work;crude death rate;age distribution;steady state;decline in fertility;public health programs;quality of data;department of economics;population at large;relationship between population;clean drinking water;factor of production;economic growth rate;Population Age structure;world war i;sustainable growth rate;poor growth performance;overlapping generations model;labor force growth;empirical growth literature;number of workers;real gdp;negative effect;dependency burden;demographic change;demographic variables;standard error;instrumental variable;dependency rate;capital-labor ratio;econometric result;saving rate;population debate;government saving;



Official version of document (may contain signatures, etc)

  • Official PDF
  • TXT*
  • Total Downloads** :
  • Download Stats
  • *The text version is uncorrected OCR text and is included solely to benefit users with slow connectivity.


Bloom, David E. Williamson, Jeffrey G.

Demographic transitions and economic miracles in emerging Asia (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.