The present paper shows empirically that the youth dependency ratio (the population below working age divided by the population of working age) reduces economic growth even after controlling for institutions. The institutional variable, the paper controls for, is the measure for institutions that is recently preferred in prominent work by Acemoglu and co-authors. Institutions turn out to have a significant and positive effect on economic growth. The significance of the youth dependency ratio and of institutions appears to be robust to controlling for various variables, including malaria prevalence. Hence, the paper finds evidence that demography, as well as institutions, both matter for economic growth.
This is a working paper. It is also available at: http://ideas.repec.org/p/lbo/lbowps/2007_14.html.