Lecture 3 - Population Debate

Lecture 3 - Population Debate - September 8 2008 Malthus...

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September 8, 2008 Malthus and Population Debate The Food Crisis Limited Resources Environment Economic Development
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Last Time Emphasis on World Population Growth Exponential growth (29 th day?) Demographic mechanisms – the gap between fertility and mortality Today: What are the consequences of adding 76 million people a year globally?
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Malthus: Essay on Population (1798)
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Malthus reasoned as follows: Food is necessary for the existence of man “Passion between the sexes is nessary and will remain nearly in its present state” (i.e., people like sex) Populations appeared to increase by a fixed proportion over a given period of time (I.e., exponential) while food increases arithmetically
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Conclusion “The power of population is infinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man”
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Population control: Two checks Preventive “moral restraint” – postponement of marriage and celibacy (little faith in this) Vice – “”promiscious intercourse, unnatural passions, violation of the marriage bed, and improper acts to conceal the consequences of irregular connections” (not an advocate)
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Positive War Disease Famine (Food was the ultimate check because population oscillates around its means of production)
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Was Malthus Right? (not so far) Understated people’s ability to use contraception (slide)
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Family Planning Methods, Worldwide Pill 8% IUD 14% Injectable or Implant 3% Male Condom 5% Female Sterilization 21% Not Using 39% Other Modern Methods 1% Traditional Methods 7% Male Sterilization 3% Note: Total exceeds 100 due to rounding. Source: United Nations Population Division, World Contraceptive Use 2005 . . Married or In-Union Women of Reproductive Age Using Family Planning, 1999
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Was Malthus Right?
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