Classical Growth Theory

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DEFINITION of 'Classical Growth Theory'

A theory on economic growth that argues that economic growth will end because of an increasing population and limited resources. Classical Growth Theory economists believed that temporary increases in real GDP per person would cause a population explosion that would consequently decrease real GDP.

BREAKING DOWN 'Classical Growth Theory'

Economists behind this theory developed an idea of a "subsistence level" to model the theory. They believed that if real GDP rose above this subsistence level of income that it would cause the population to increase and bring real GDP back down to the subsitence level. It was sort of like a equilibrium level that real GDP would always revert to in this theory. Alternatively, if the real GDP fell below this subsistence level, parts of the population would die off and real income would rise back to the subsistence level.

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