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GENUS. 1986 Jul-Dec; 42(3-4):13-21.The author examines the writings of Malthus and compares them with basic tenets of two modern economic approaches to fertility studies. It is suggested that "Leibenstein and Easterlin, on the one hand, base their arguments on the central role of aspirations and of relative income or status, whether it be that of the parents or of the friends and neighbors. We argue that aspirations and relative income effects are quite close to Malthus' ideas on 'forward looking' and self respect. The other modern economic approach to fertility studies, the Chicago school, is centered on the effect of human capital on consumption and fertility decisions, and we think that this idea was not too strange to Malthus when he emphasized foresight and the desire for knowledge." (SUMMARY IN FRE AND ITA) (EXCERPT)
New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University, Economic Growth Center, 1985 Jun. 51 p. (Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 482)The impact of population size and its rate of growth on levels of living in general and on the demand and/or supply of a basic necessity such as food has long attracted the attention of economists and economic demographers. This paper reviews some recent models of the world food economy in the context of a rapidly growing population in the developing countries. The models range from population carrying capacity exercises devoid of any economics to dynamic general equilibrium models. It would appear from the projections of various models that the demand for food likely to arise from anticipated income and population growth during the next 2 to 3 decades or even longer can be met. Yet for an analysis of the long term interaction between population growth and economic development these models are inadequate because the behavioral response of households, producers, investors and inventors to anticipated imbalances between supply and demand in terms of changes in fertility behavior, the rate and character of technical change, and the rates of saving investment in physical and human capital are not adequately modeled. Contrary to the widespread impression, it is not rapid population growth but inappropriate public policies towards agriculture that seem to account for the failure of many developing countries to assure an adequate level of food consumption for their citizens.
In: Population policies in Asian countries: contemporary targets, measures and effects, edited by Hermann Schubnell. Lubeck, Germany, Federal Republic of, Drager Foundation, 1984. 429-43. (Centre of Asian Studies Occasional Papers and Monographs no. 57)Population policy conforming to socioeconomic development needs to be broadly defined and organized. This term is used as a collective notion for all sorts of political action designed to influence population trends according to specific objectives. The objectives, which are usually expressed in terms of demographic numbers or rates and related to a fixed period, need to meet 2 main requirements: they must comply with anticipated socioeconomic change on the macro-level as well as with needs and interests on the micro-level. When designing population policies, both levels must be considered, the one for determining desirable objectives and the other for choosing suitable strategies to realize the objectives. The discussion first examines the impact of population growth on the macro-level and then draws conclusions for appropriate policies. All developing countries are working for quick modernization and all want to raise productivity, to overcome economic dualism, and to promote sectoral and regional integration. Considering these common goals, the discussion turns to the question of how population trends at the various stages of transition correspond with the need to speed up socioeconomic progress. Leaving migration aside, the salient demographic factors to be considered are fertility and mortality. All economic problems caused by population growth arise from the respective conditions of births and deaths. These conditions are also the targets of population policy. A fall in mortality is a prerequisite for socioeconomic change. Mortality decline should be promoted despite the fact that the population will then grow more quickly. The problems which plague most developing countries with rapid population growth such as severe underemployment, unemployment and excessive urbanization are supported by persistent high fertility, but not by falling mortality. Only if fertility decreases will the other important d emographic obstacle to economic progress, i.e., the high dependency burden, become smaller. To show the basic effects of various fertility and mortality levels on such economically relevant facts as length of working life, youth dependency, and costs of raising the young generation, 3 models are used which correspond to 3 stages of demographic transition -- ongoing transition, advanced transition, and late transitional stage. The exercise shows that birth decline tends to improve consumption standards and in this way to influence economic development before the labor force is directly affected. Almost all developing countries need population policies to set in motion and speed up a fall in birth of either total population or certain population groups. Communal self help activities are particularly useful as part of programs aimed at inducing and speeding up fertility declines. Measures in the field of family planning, which are now the core of the programs, will be accepted more readily if families regard them as a means of improving social well-being.
In: Rural development and human fertility, edited by Wayne A. Schutjer and C. Shannon Stokes. New York, N.Y., Macmillan, 1984. 121-50.This chapter examines the effect of changing income on fertility in rural areas, focusing particular attention on 2 variables which intervene between income and fertility: educational aspirations and consumption aspirations. The chapter's 1st part considers the income/fertility relation in rural areas of less developed countries. (LDCs). It appears that in rural areas at the micro level the effect of income on fertility is nonlinear: positive at low levels of income and negative at relatively high levels. The chapter's 2nd part deals with educational aspirations and the so-called quantity/quality tradeoff. The 3rd part of the chapter examines the hypothesis that a negative income/fertility relationship is more likely once a transformation of consumption aspirations has occurred. Some macrolevel evidence is considered along with microlevel studies. Review of the empirical evidence concerning the income/fertility relation in LDCs indicates that the relation is negative in urban areas and in rural areas where development is relatively advanced, but positive in rural areas at earlier stages of development. The pure positive income effect may be reinforced by indirect positive effects in poor rural populations. In such populations, income increases may lead to better health, nutrition, and higher survival rates among women of childbearing age. In addition, rising income may lead to more optimistic expectations concerning permanent income, and, in some countries, rural women may withdraw from the labor force or reduce work inputs when the farm earns more money. At later stages of rural development, negative indirect effects of increasing income on fertility may outweigh positive effects. Rising educational and consumption patterns are among these potential negative indirect effects, but there are others, particularly the anticipation of declining economic benefits from children. The observed income/fertility pattern suggests first that aspirations respond more strongly to income advances in urban than in rural settings and during later than during earlier phases of rural development. It also suggests that the sensitivity of fertility to rising aspirations may be quite low in traditional rural societies. This 2nd proposition derives support from an analysis of the quantity/quality tradeoff. The depressing effect of consumption aspirations on fertility seem to be modest, yet it appears that a policy of austerity with regard to new consumer goods may make it more difficult to lower birthrates. Investment aspirations have been neglected in the literature. A policy of creating conditions conducive to investment in nonhuman capital for a broad spectrum of rural household is desirable in its own right. If high investment aspirations also lowered birthrates, they would represent a doubly valuable policy goal.
In: Economic consequences of population change in industrialized countries: proceedings of the Conference on Population Economics held at the University of Paderborn, West Germany, June 1-June 3, 1983, edited by Gunter Steinmann. New York, N.Y./Berlin, Germany, Federal Republic of, Springer-Verlag, 1984. 168-178. (Studies in Contemporary Economics Vol. 8)The economic impact of recent demographic changes in developed countries, particularly declining fertility, increasing divorce, delayed marriage, and demographic aging, is assessed. The focus is on household consumption behavior, with an emphasis on how declining fertility affects the level and growth rate of total and per capita consumption and consumption distribution. The importance of technological change and of age factors is noted. (ANNOTATION)
Personal gasoline consumption, population patterns, and metropolitan structure: the United States, 1960-1970
Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 1984; 74(2):257-78.Using a 864 county study area, 1 containing all Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) as of 1975, and an 8% random sample of nonmetro counties, this study explores the relationships among population characteristics and change, metropolitan structure, and gasoline purchases for personal vehicles in the period 1960-70. Gasoline purchases, used as a proxy measure of energy consumption for personal travel, were estimated using information from the Censuses of Retail Trade and state gasoline tax data. 3 findings are particularly important. 1) Population redistribution among regions and 3 major categories of places--central city and ring counties within SMSAs and nonmetro counties--during the 1960s produced little or no appreciable change in gasoline used for personal vehicles at the national level. 2) During this period of sharply rising consumption, a decided convergence occurred in mean per capita values among regions and residential categories, with an especially notable increase in central city counties. 3) Surprisingly, within SMSAs, a negative association existed between suburbanization and SMSA levels of per capita consumption. This suggests that the more extended a metropolitan area and, inferentially, the more highly developed and integrated its periphery, the greater the fuel efficiency in personal transportation. It also suggests the need to reconsider our standard models of metropolitan structure. Because of major changes in socioeconomic conditions, the authors cannot safely extrapolate their findings into the 1970s and 1980s. (author's modified)
Journal of Political Economy. 1984 Jun; 92(3):527-31.This note considers the problem of a utility maximizing family when utility depends on own consumption, number of children, and indirectly, on children's welfare through the bequests parents make. A novel feature of the approach is that the welfare of a child's own family depends on the bequest of both the child and the child's spouse. Due to the fact that each family derives utility from the bequests of other families through marriages, Pareto optimality can be attained only if parents are free to bargain with each other about what each child's family will leave to its children. In modern times, when so much of parents' bequests is in the form of human capital, property rights such as these are difficult or impossible to enforce and marriages are not "arranged" in this manner by parents. If the children are free to choose and marry for reasons unrelated to bequests, and if bequests are determined before the choice, then it will be shown that the level of bequests will also be less than a symmetric Pareto optimal allocation. It is also shown that under a suitable separability assumption, the number of children each family bears is larger than a symmetric Pareto optimal allocation. It is emphasized that only the question of allocative efficiency among members of the 1st generation (parents) is considered, that is, the social welfare is the individual parent's and the children enter only through their parents' utility functions. Under the assumption of weak separability of bequests in the parents' utility function from family consumption and number of children, the less than optimal level of bequests is associated with too large a rate of population growth. The concern here is only with market failure due to the potential externality introduced by bequests. The optimal population size and level of bequests under alternative social welfare functions are considered elsewhere. The externality identified here applies not only to bequests in the form of physical captial but, expecially, to bequests in the form of investments in the human capital of children. It is the latter that effectively prevent establishment of a system of property rights of parents in children that would eliminate the externality.
[Personal consumption and the mechanisms of population growth: a collection of articles] Lichnoe potreblenie v mekhanizme vosproizvodstva naseleniya: sbornik statei
Riga, USSR, Zinatne, 1983. 170 p.This collection of papers by different authors is concerned with socioeconomic aspects of population reproduction in the USSR. Topics considered include the functions of production and consumption under Socialism, the development of private consumption within the labor force as a means of raising social production, income and the formation of the labor potential of the family, the role of distribution ratios in population growth, some methodological issues involved in studying the regional impact of living standards on population growth, the relationship between family stability and selected material and social-psychological characteristics, and the employment of women and the education of children in society.