March 24, 2011 - Economics and Population Growth...

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Main interactions of economics and population growth 1. Increased cost of raising children, decreased need for children to provide old-age care Not know how long this will continue Does economic development reduce birth rate? - Siding reading: he concludes 'yes' Economic prospects: i.e. level of family Does a reduced birth rate improve economic prospects? <-- refer to today's reading - i.e. where you are on economic scale How does the nature of the economic system (independent of development) affect birth rates and the sustainability of development? - Thoughts on first 2 points above A. "that there is a causal relationship running from improved living standards to lower fertility is no longer in much dispute" "...does poverty reinforce high fertility or does high fertility lead to poverty?" Much dispute in 80s and 90s Point #2 still debated: Sinding expanding on point #1: - Relationship between family size, population growth and economic development Fast population growth keeps countries in poverty 1960s~1970s: 'neo - Malthusian" Population growth positive or neutral for economy 1980s: Reagan / Thatcher Slowing population growth at least provides a temporary economic boost as 'baby boom' moves into adulthood Cohort youth and adults in early years will reduce 'dependency rate' (relative few old people) --> productivity per person would increase Temporary** why? 'baby boomers' get old and little fertility to support it 1990s Growing evidence that high birth rats are bad for economic development Last 10 years History thinking on point #2: (Does a reduced birth rate improve economic prospects? ) - Last 10 & recent thinking on point #2 reflected in the UN Millennium Development Goals 2000 (look in to Sinding article): rapid population growth is bad for economy B. 1/2 # of poverty by 2015 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger - Achieve universal primary education (by 2015) - Eliminate gender inequality in education by 2005 Promote gender equality & empower women - By 2/3 from 1990 levels by 2015 Reduce child mortality - Improve maternal health - Combat HIV, malaria and other diseases - 1/2 proportion of people without access to safe drinking water Ensure environmental sustainability - Poverty 2. Evidence for effect of more births on poverty at a family level A. One birth reduced mother's participation in work force by 20%, reducing family income, affecting $ education for child Indonesian Family Life Survey: - Control and experimental (family planning) villages: positive effects on women's health, earnings and household assets & improved health and schooling of the women's children Better family planning = reduced fertility by 15%, better health, increased household assets, education, etc. 22 year study in Matlab, Bangladesh: - "high fertility exacerbates poverty or, better put, that high fertility makes poverty reduction more difficult and less likely"
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March 24, 2011 - Economics and Population Growth...

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