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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.
Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. xv, 463 p.Add to my documents.