Proposal preview

Demography and economic change from modern era to date: An international comparative perspective.

In the last few decades the risk of an unsustainable explosion of the world population has given way to the fear of a demographic winter, possibly inducing relevant losses in terms of economic and social dynamism. In the most developed countries first, and in many emerging countries then, a situation combining accelerated aging and long-term shrinking of working-age population, an older workforce with obsolete skills, may significantly contribute to lower the paces of productivity growth and innovativeness.
The main goal of the Session is to discuss themes related to population structure and its changes – its main driving components as fertility, mortality, life expectancy, and migration – investigating how did they contribute to economic dynamics in the past. This will help to interpret today’s prevailing long-term demographic perspectives, to understand their geographical scope and their global implications. The works presented in the Session, in fact, will help to give a historically informed view on core current demographic issues such as ageing and sub-replacement fertility, and on their economic consequences. The search of commonalities and divergences between pre-modern, modern and post-modern demographic developments may help to critically assess present predictions of future demographic dynamics and to discuss policy options to deal with upcoming challenges. Along these lines, the Session may contribute to a richer understanding of the links between demographic and economic forces, including a possible original reading of the current secular stagnation debate.
The Session, with an international and long-run scope, will develop as an interdisciplinary discussion between demographers, historical demographers, economic historians, economists. The papers will focus on single country’s experiences or on cross country analyses in the far past or over a long period of time.


  • Federico Barbiellini Amidei, Banca d'Italia,, Italy
  • Matteo Gomellini, Banca d'Italia,, Italy
  • Faustine Perrin, Lund University,, Sweden

Session members

  • Guido Alfani , Università Bocconi,
  • Sascha O. Becker, University of Warwick,
  • Carlo Ciccarelli, Università di Roma Tor Vergata,
  • Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, Università degli Studi di Padova,
  • David de la Croix, Université catholique de Louvain,
  • Martin Dribe , Lund University,
  • Matteo Gomellini, Banca d'Italia,
  • Cormac Ó Gráda, University College Dublin,
  • Faustine Perrin, Lund University,
  • Bastien Chabé-Ferret, University of Essex,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Tommy Bengtsson, Lund University,
  • Claude Diebolt, University of Strasbourg,


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