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  1. 1

    The social dimensions of population.

    Arizpe L; Velazquez M

    In: Population and environment: rethinking the debate, edited by Lourdes Arizpe, M. Priscilla Stone, and David C. Major. Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press, 1994. 15-40.

    The chapter aim was to present new directions for constructing comprehensive social, political, and economic models of the environment and population links. Variables should include not just population size, but density, rate of increase, age distribution, sex ratios, access to resources, livelihoods, social dimensions of gender, and power structures. Sustainability must account for sustainable livelihoods. Today's challenges are on much larger scale without precedence. Out-migration is not now possible due to ecological mismanagement. The natural inequalities in geographic resource distribution are exacerbated by the economic power of capital in industrialized nations and elite groups in less developed countries. Solutions are not possible when the debate is deadlocked. Population growth is an "accelerating force" and interrelated with socioeconomic transitions. Consumption of natural and human made resources must be tied to population growth. Sustainable development must occur nationally, regionally, and globally. Demographic transition today has been occurring in ways different from the developed country models of socioeconomic change. The momentum of population growth, the age structure, and the consumption and impact of new persons on social and ecological systems must be accounted for. Carrying capacity concepts are difficult to estimate, in part because needs are determined by culture. Population growth has been used to obscure existing disparities and inequalities. Various theoretical postures have emerged: population growth as a cause of environmental depletion, technology as a solution spurred on population growth, consumption disparities as a cause, income inequality as a cause, and measurement deficits in determining the differential effects of population growth. Environmental change has always occurred in tandem with population change. Examples from the Lacandon rainforest illustrated the complexity of interactions.
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  2. 2

    Rethinking transportation.

    Renner M

    In: State of the world 1989. A Worldwatch Institute report on progress toward a sustainable society. New York, New York, W.W. Norton, 1989. 97-112.

    The costs to society, in terms of air pollution, acid rain, global warming, congestion, health costs, deaths and inequalities, of the world's 400 million motor vehicles, and feasible alternatives are discussed. Growing numbers of cars show no sign of leveling off in the U.S., and they are rising in Western Europe, Japan, Eastern Europe, U.S.S.R., and the third world. 1% of people in developing countries own cars, compared to 40% in industrial countries, or 8% overall worldwide. Petroleum for transport accounts for 63% of petroleum use in the U.S.; in the third world the fraction of export earnings used to pay for transport fuels tripled during the 1970s. Ethanol is not a practical alternative fuel since it requires more energy to produce than it yields, and only cane sugar is a practical source. Methanol production from coal also entails more pollution than gasoline. Hydrogen may be the fuel of the future. Several ways of enhancing fuel efficiency already exist: cars making 120 m/g have been tested. Market factors prevent their development, however. Any car with 1 driver is inefficient. Improving air quality is possible by regulation in some areas, but in the U.S. the shear volume of traffic thwarts any imposed regulation. Alternative transport systems will be necessary to reverse 250,000 traffic deaths and millions of injuries annually worldwide, congestion in cities resulting in lost productivity, hidden financial subsidies and costs of automotive infrastructure and lost health. Multidestinational systems operate successfully in European cities. Nonmotorized transport, mainly bicycles and walking, is the primary mode in Asia and Africa. How these alternatives can be implemented in the noncentralized urban areas of the U.S., with up to 60% of urban land devoted to cars and much of the economy to their distribution and service, is an unsolved problem. Even in developing countries, city planners and donor agencies favor the elite with autos. People need urban design that incorporates access to jobs, homes and services.
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  3. 3

    Interaction between macro-economic activities and demographic changes in selected developing countries.

    Bhattacharyya D

    Leicester, England, University of Leicester, Department of Economics, 1987 Oct. 26 p. (Department of Economics Discussion Paper No. 66)

    The author analyzes the relationship between population and economic development in developing countries using a macro-level model and short-term time-series data. The variables considered are consumption expenditure, investment expenditure, national income, and population; the countries examined are India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic, with the United Kingdom as a control. The time period covered is 1964-1980. The results show little support for Malthusian theory and only partial support for alternative theories asserting that population growth is associated with technological progress.
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  4. 4

    Investment in social development: some implications of demographic conditions.

    Herzog J

    In: Population strategy in Asia. The Second Asian Population Conference, Tokyo, November 1972. Report, declaration and selected papers, [compiled by] United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East [ECAFE]. Bangkok, Thailand, ECAFE, 1974 Jun. 190-203. (Asian Population Study Series No. 28; E/C.N.11/1152)

    The question raised in this discussion is how demographic conditions and particularly the rate of population growth affect both the role investment plays in social development and the allocation of resources among the alternative social projects and programs. Particular attention is directed to the factors and problems decision makers and social planners must consider in allocating social investment. An attempt is made to analyze 3 ways in which demographic conditions may affect the production of social goods and services: economies of scale; innovation; and changes in the mix of inputs. The implications of economies of scale for social investment policy are 2-fold: in allocating resources among sectors, decision makers must consider differences among sectors in the extent of economies (or diseconomies) of scale; and social investment policy may seek to exploit economies of scale without depending on population growth and to minimize diseconomies of scale without depending on reductions in population growth. It has been hypothesized that rapid population growth will lead to innovation in social technology, yet it is unclear why individuals or societies should respond more creatively to pressure due to population growth than to pressure due to economic or political developments or to higher levelsof aspiration. And, it is unclear that rapid population growth has in fact stimulated innovation in specific countries. Changes in the relative prices of inputs may call for or even induce changes the mix of imputs used in producing social goods. This may be the case even in the absence of technological advance. Although it often is noted that population growth tends to increase the desired and actual level of consumption of social goods and services, it less frequently is recognized that the relative increases in consumption are not likely to be the same for all social goods and services. This is due in part to the production relationships. To bring about a general decline in fertility it is insufficient to increase the consumption of social goods and services by a relatively small number of rich couples who already may limit their fertility. What is necessary is to increase the consumption of social goods and services by all parts of the population and thereby to influence the fertility behavior of a substantial proportion of the population. Policies designed to influence economic behavior might be directed appropriately towards relatively high income groups, for they account for a disproportionately large share of all consumption, saving, and investment.
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  5. 5

    Economic growth under non-replacement fertility.

    McNicoll G

    New York, New York, Population Council, 1985 Dec. 39 p. (Population Council. Center for Policy Studies Working Papers No. 120)

    This essay explores the economic implications of continuing below-replacement fertility in the developed countries of the West. Effects of low fertility on labor supply, technological change and investment and consumption are noted, but their economic growth and welfare consequences, it is argued, can for the most part be discounted provided some reasonable degree of institutional adaptability is present. 2 further areas where similar complacency on economic effects appears unjustified are explored at greater length. One is the potential influence of low fertility on income distribution and economic mobility. Social security issues, while properly seen as highly important, are only a subset of an intricate mesh of distributional relationships affected by fertility patterns. The other area is that of international economic relations, given the trend toward demographic inconsequence of the rich countries and the uncertain prospects of their continued technological dominance. The chief demographic effects of below replacement fertility are: eventual but often greatly delayed contraction in population numbers; a concentration of families around completed parities of 0-3; substantial rises in the median age of the population and in the proportion of elderly; and a fall-off in the relative numbers of youth and in the ratio of labor force entrants to retirees under constant participation rates. Technological effects of population growth are meditated through factor prices: a labor shortage can elicit shifts to more capital-intensive production methods. Low fertility, even somewhat below replacement level, presents no great difficulty for a modern economy. Its effects are probably small compared to business-cycle fluctuations in economic performance, and reasonable flexibility in adjustments to complementary factor inputs and technology and in fiscal management should enable continuation of a satisfactory pace of economic growth, both aggregate and per capita.
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  6. 6

    [Third World cities: points of accumulation, centers of distribution] Les villes du Tiers Monde: theatres d'accumulation, centres de diffusion.

    Armstrong WR; McGee TG

    Tiers-Monde. 1985 Oct-Dec; 26(104):823-40.

    Attention was called over 3 decades ago to the very rapid growth of Third World cities and the significance of the differences between their patterns of urbanization and those of industrialized countries. Their demographic growth occurred much faster and depended much more heavily on high fertility, their economies were geared more to export of raw materials than to manufacturing and were unable to create massive numbers of jobs to absorb the growing labor force except in the unproductive tertiary sector, and it appeared unlikely that they would be able to produce entrepreneurial classes of their own. Several economic developments during the 1970s affected the world economy and the patterns of urbanization of the Third World: the decline of the principal capitalist economies and the multiple increases in the price of oil, the floating exchange rate, the considerable increase in consumer goods, and the increasing costs of labor in industrialized countries, among others, created new conditions. World economic interdependence, international control of investment and exchange, and volume and mobility of capital increased at a time of rapid economic growth in some Third World countries, especially those whose governments took an aggressive role in promoting growth and investment. Some Third World cities now seem to be developing according to a more western model, but the same cannot be said of all Third World countries, and international economic evolution appears to have led to increasing polarization between countries as well as within them. The 1 domain where a certain convergence has occurred is consumption, beginning with the privileged classes and filtering to the lower income groups. Consumption of collective and individual consumer goods, which is concentrated in the largest cities, increases dependence on imports, technology, knowledge, and usually debt. The modern productive sector and its distribution activities become implanted in the cities to such a degree that it becomes more and more difficult for the consumption needs of regional cities and rural areas to be satisfied except through manufactured products from the capitalist sector of the principal city or through imports from industrial countries. Despite the fact that some Third World cities will be enormous by the year 2000 and that their social structures and labor forces will not closely resemble those of European cities, the thesis of "pseudourbanization" appears invalid for several reasons: the model of sectorial changes in the European labor force was not followed by the industrializing countries of North America; some Third World countries (excluding India and China) appear able to absorb most of their surplus rural population into the modern sector, and Third World cities appear less and less to be merely centers of culture. New research during the 1970s on Third World urbanization contributed several crucial elements to the analysis: recognition that insertion of developing countries into the international economic order has been a major influence on their urbanization patterns, appreciation of the role of migration in urbanization, realization of the potential role of the state in mitigating spatial and structural inequalities created by the urbanization process, and recognition of the need for more detailed microeconomic studies and construction of more elaborate models of Third World economies.
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  7. 7

    Further implications of learning by doing: the effect of population on per-capita income

    Cigno A

    Bulletin of Economic Research. 1984 Nov; 36(2):97-108.

    This paper investigates the theoretical implications of the hypothesis that technical progress is affected by population size or growth. It extends the model of Arrow, in which technical progress is viewed as the result of learning-by-doing, in 3 ways: 1) a smooth substitutability between labor, capital, and natural resources is permitted; 2) the concept of learning-by-doing is broadened to allow for the fact that any act of production may involve some degree of learning; and 3) it addresses the stability question, left unanswered by Arrow. Models both without natural resources and with exhaustible natural resources were considered. In both versions of the model, the steady-state characteristics of the economy are independent of the initial population size. This suggests that the population-size or population-density effect advocated by Simon cannot be justified by a learning-by-doing mechanism and the initial advantage of large population size becomes insignificant over time. However, a positive population growth effect on the level or the growth rate of real per capita income is possible. In cases where natural resources are less important than man-made capital, a rise in the population growth rate would increase the growth rate of per capita income but decrease its level, whereas the opposite situation applies in cases where natural resources are more important than capital.
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