I did my masters’ thesis evaluating Kremer’s paper from the 90′s which makes the case for the more people->more growth->more people feedback loop. It essentially supports Ben’s post from awhile ago (https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/CWFn9qAKsRibpCGq8/does-economic-history-point-toward-a-singularity) [fyi I did work with ben on this project] in arguing that, with radiocarbon data (which I hold is much better than the guesstimate data Kremer uses), the more people->more growth relationship doesn’t seem to hold. In terms of population it seems growth was much less steady than previously assumed. There are basically a few jumps, lot’s of stagnation (e.g. China’s population seems to have stagnated for thousands of years after the Neolithic revolution), and no clear overall pattern in long-term growth until the past few hundred years.
There are tons of caveats to my results listed in the thesis and I haven’t read your paper so I’m not sure how much it even matters but I hope this contributes something! I’ll add one more caveat: The paper is not super well-done (hence my previous hesitancy to post). I was sick for much of my thesis-writing period and also working part-time so much of it was rushed through toward the end. If it seems useful I can dredge up my notes on what I think might be wrong with it and send you the data (I actually have decently clean replication files in R). If I remember correctly the main results all hold it’s mostly just minor things which need fixing. I’ve been meaning to clean it up and post it properly but I’m not sure whether that’s ever going to happen, hence my posting it now.
With all that in mind, here’s the thesis! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pVzrTikeoRRO3WvU5x01nOEyf_USPUg-FcrqTGwUVR8/edit#
Feel free to reach out if you’d like to have a chat about this!