Contraception, apparently. According to Malcolm Gladwell, it’s what Harvard academics David Bloom and David Canning argue for some years now. When all other explanations are spent, it is the dramatic fall in the birth rate just after the Tiger generation that released a major amount of resources from sustaining a non working population and made way for economic growth rates double that of the EU average. Hat-tip to Fews Orange!
“The introduction of demographics has reduced the need for the argument that there was something exceptional about East Asia or idiosyncratic to Africa,” Bloom and Canning write, in their study of the Irish economic miracle. “Once age-structure dynamics are introduced into an economic growth model, these regions are much closer to obeying common principles of economic growth.”