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-3 Projections: Population continues to go up, Population levels off,
-Which is most likely to occur?
-We must understand why demographic transition occurs
-Our understanding is still limited Will smooth demographic transitions occur
in developing countries? Population issues can be contentious • Perhaps not, might stall: don’t know why
fertility rates decline in particular societies
• If social structures & health care are
overwhelmed, mortality may not stay down
(e.g., HIV infections ~25% in some countries;
campaigns against condoms)
• Perhaps yes: women tend to reduce births
when information and contraception become
available (see movie Mother) -Empowering women reduces children: children
l ater, greater interbirth inter val, fewer children -Decline in mortality: attributed to vaccination, antibiotics etc.
-These declines may not be permanent!
-In some societies, 25% of people with HIV will really slow the popln growth
rate. Medical/technology will not be able to compensate and keep the growth
rate high Case study: Wanna bet?
• Neo Malthusians vs. cornucopians
• Thomas Malthus (1798): growth checked by
vice, war, disease, famine
• Neo Malthusian view: continued human
population growth is unsustainable; current
level is probably unsustainable
• Cornucopian view:
will allow growth
without limits 1
2 Malthus: Growth of populations will be kept in check by war, disease, famine
Neo-Malthusian: Human health will grow until growth is un-sustainable. Current level is prob also
a lready unsustainable!
-Influenced C. Dar win when he discovered NS
-Cornucopian: Technology will allow the pop to grow without limits 2 Julian Simon, prominent cornucopian economist • Over consumption not a
problem because new
• Resources might be
physically limited but are
• More people means more
brains to solve problems...
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- Winter '14
- Demography, Annotated Lecture S, death rates, Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon