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In: The global possible: resources, development, and the new century, edited by Robert Repetto. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1985. 457-73. (World Resources Institute Book)If certain institutional conditions are upheld, markets can provide supplies and allocate use so that minerals and materials will satisfy our needs for a very long time, likely forever. These conditions include internalization of environmental damages, worldwide trade access to raw materials, access to the earth's crust for exploration, and prevention of market control by either sellers or buyers. Contrary to popular belief, primary mineral supplies are indeed infinite since they flow to the world economy at a cost that will support their demand as influenced by supplies from scrap. Rarely do interruptions in supply justify government interference in mineral markets. Technology tends to provide new supplies or changes material demands. For example, in the mid 1970s in Zaire, the military prevented cobalt supplies from reaching the markets. Manufacturers of jet engine turbines and high temperature magnets asked the US government to open up strategic cobalt stockpiles to meet their needs. The government did not do so since no state of emergency existed. Cobalt prices increased. This predicament forced research and/or development of new technologies: Cobalt-free magnets and use of other materials such as ceramics for turbine blades. Many people do not consider the large mineral deposits in the seabed because of the tremendous costs to extract them. Technological development is need to identify means to explore and extract them. Mineral and material demand are not always in those countries where the deposits exist so international trade is very important. Thus policies permit efficient trade, production, and use should be promoted. The market works.
Jahrbucher fur Nationalokonomie und Statistik. 1985 Sep; 200(5):508-31.The paper seeks intuitively-satisfying models of optimum population growth. The authors build upon Phelps's model of endogenous technical progress plus the Steinmann-Simon extension, which imply that the per-person consumption growth rate depends positively and linearly upon the population growth rate, without bound....They suggest that the consumption rate ultimately turns downwards as population growth increases because of decreasing adoption of available technology as labor cheapens relative to capital, and as high population growth overtaxes people's will and ability to respond. Including a convex-downward function in the model yields sensible results. (summary in GER) (EXCERPT)
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.
[Third World cities: points of accumulation, centers of distribution] Les villes du Tiers Monde: theatres d'accumulation, centres de diffusion.
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.