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[Is the "general theory of population" always a general theory of population?] La theorie generale de la population est-elle toujours une theorie generale de la population?
POPULATION. 1992 Nov-Dec; 47(6):1411-24.The 2-volume "General Theory of Population," published by Alfred Sauvy in 1952 and reissued frequently, combined theoretical arguments and wide-ranging observations which furnished an appreciation of the complexity of relationships uniting population and society. The "General Theory" offered simultaneously a synthesis of demographic knowledge and a stimulus for further research. Established facts were presented, relationships specified, and conjectures requiring verification or rejection offered. This work examines a number of concepts proposed or developed by Sauvy in the "General Theory" and assesses the degree to which it can still be considered a "general" theory 4 decades after its original appearance. The theory of optimum population is the basic framework for volume 1, which analyzes relationships between population and the economy. Although demographers continue to consider some population sizes preferable to others, the concept of an optimum population has fallen out of use. However, Sauvy's reflections on the effects of technological progress on population and employment and his work on the analysis of consumption and the role of demand in demoeconomic dynamics remain of interest. Sauvy devoted a considerable effort to calculating the economic value of a man, a topic first considered in the 17th century. Estimation of the economic value of a man is related to problems of population aging, financing of pensions, and international migration, all areas of interest to Sauvy. Volume 2 of the "General Theory" introduced the sociological dimensions of population questions. Sauvy's views on population aging, on the desirability of increasing France's birth rate to ameliorate the consequences of aging, and on family policy were presented in the "General Theory." International migration, the economic and demographic problems of the Third World, and the benefits of education in the Third World were other prominent topics. Sauvy's "General Theory" can no longer be considered a general theory in the strict sense. Although Sauvy was aware of the complexity of interrelationships, the book lacks a systematic vision of society. The work also lacks an ecological dimension and a confrontation between theories of urbanization and actual experiences. It contains no development models that go beyond a mechanistic view of society. On occasion, value judgments intrude. The work as a whole, however, retains great interest, with its abundance of information and ideas and suggestions for future research.
[On the socioeconomic situation of families today: data and problems] Zur sozialokonomischen Lage von Familien heute--Daten und Probleme.
ZEITSCHRIFT FUR BEVOLKERUNGSWISSENSCHAFT. 1986; 12(2):221-37.The author considers the socioeconomic status of young families in the Federal Republic of Germany and gives particular attention to the constraints that socioeconomic factors may exercise on the success of certain family policies. Family income and expenditures and the notion of the opportunity cost of children are discussed. (SUMMARY IN ENG AND FRE) (ANNOTATION)
[Documentation of the papers presented during the meeting of the German Society for Demography, Working Group on Population Economy, October 3-5, 1984, in Buchenbach] Dokumentation der Referate, die wahrend der Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Bevolkerungswissenschaft im Arbeitskreis Bevolkerungsokonomie vom 3. bis 5.10.1984 in Buchenbach gehalten wurden
Wiesbaden, Germany, Federal Republic of, Germany, Federal Republic of. Bundesinstitut fur Bevolkerungsforschung, 1985. 183 p. (Materialien zur Bevolkerungswissenschaft no. 41)This publication contains six papers presented at a meeting of the German Society for Demography's Working Group on Population Economy, held in Buchenbach, Federal Republic of Germany, in 1984. The focus of the meeting was on the relationships between population trends and economic, social, and family policy, with a geographic emphasis on the Federal Republic of Germany. Papers are included on a market-economy alternative to traditional family policy, the income situation of families, the role of population trends in discussions of consumer demand, savings and family size, the short-term analysis of demographic changes and the labor market, and family allowances and their effects on family income and the employment of mothers.