ExamReview1 - resources Throughout economic history the...

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1) What unprecedented fact did Ehrlich respond to? What did he fail to foresee? Two unprecedented things happened in the second half of the twentieth century; the first was the fall of the death rate and the result of that, unprecedentedly fast population growth with a doubling time of less than 35 years (in the case of some countries, a doubling time of less than 25 years), which in turn put unprecedented pressure on farm production and other resources; this corresponds to Phase 2 of the Demographic Transition. The second unprecedented phenomenon was the fall in the fertility rate to sub-replacement levels, and the social and economic problems that are arising from that. Ehrlich responded to the first phenomenon (in fact, he’s still responding to it) and failed to foresee the second.__2) From the point of view of economic history, what is surprising about_the idea that we are on the verge of running out of natural
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Unformatted text preview: resources? Throughout economic history, the price ratio between manufactured goods and natural resources has been increasing: natural resources have been getting cheaper (more abundant) relative to manufactured products and to human demand. If we were running out of natural resources, their prices would be sharply increasing. This occasionally does happen, as with oil, but the usual pattern is in the other direction. In fact, one way of describing the plight of the former European colonies that gained their independence after World War II is that during colonialism they had been geared to primary production–natural resources and agricultural products–and if they kept it up they’d get more and more impoverished. The chief issue confronting these countries is what steps they’d take to stop being primary producers exclusively; we call this economic development....
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2009 for the course GEOG 130 taught by Professor Staff during the Summer '08 term at Berkeley.

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