Changing the direction of the economic and demographic research

Ron W. NIELSEN

Abstract


Abstract. A simple but useful method of reciprocal values is introduced, explained and illustrated. This method simplifies the analysis of hyperbolic distributions, which are causing serious problems in the demographic and economic research. It allows for a unique identification of hyperbolic distributions and for unravelling components of more complicated trajectories. This method is illustrated by a few examples: growth of the world population during the AD era; growth of population in Africa; economic growth in Western Europe; and the world economic growth. They show that fundamental postulates of the demographic and economic research are contradicted by data, even by precisely the same data, which are used in this research. The generally accepted postulates are based on the incorrect understanding of hyperbolic distributions, which characterise the historical growth of population and the historical economic growth. In particular, data used, but never analysed, during the formulation of the Unified Growth Theory show that this theory is based on fundamentally incorrect premises and thus is fundamentally defective. In this theory, distorted representations of data are used to support preconceived and incorrect ideas. Precisely the same data, when properly analysed, show that the theory is incorrect. Application of this simple method of analysis points to new directions in the demographic and economic research. It suggests simpler interpretations of the mechanism of growth. The concept or the evidence of the past primitive and difficult living conditions, which might be perhaps described as some kind of stagnation, is not questioned or disputed. It is only demonstrated that trajectories of the past economic growth and of the growth of population were not reflecting any form of stagnation and thus that they were not shaped by these primitive and difficult living conditions. The concept or evidence of an explosion in technology, medicine, education and in the improved living conditions is not questioned or disputed. It is only demonstrated that this possible explosion is not reflected in trajectories of the economic growth and of the growth of population. Growth trajectories were increasing monotonically during the generally claimed epoch of stagnation and during the claimed explosion.

Keywords. Hyperbolic distributions, Reciprocal values, Economic growth, Growth of human population, Industrial revolution, Unified Growth Theory, Growth regimes, Gross Domestic Product.

JEL. A10, A12, A20, B41, C02, C12, C20, C50, Y80.

Keywords


Hyperbolic distributions; Reciprocal values; Economic growth; Growth of human population; Industrial revolution; Unified Growth Theory; Growth regimes; Gross Domestic Product.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1453/jel.v4i3.1411

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