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Your search found 11 Results

  1. 1

    Public finance in models of economic growth.

    Barro RJ; Sala-i-Martin X

    New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University, Economic Growth Center, 1991 Jul. 33 p. (Center Discussion Paper No. 640)

    The recent literature on endogenous economic growth allows for effects of fiscal policy on long-term growth. If the social rate of return on investment exceeds the private return, then tax policies that encourage investment can raise the growth rate and levels of utility. An excess of the social return over the private return can reflect learning-by-doing with spillover effects, the financing of government consumption purchases with an income tax, and monopoly pricing of new types of capital goods. Tax incentives for investment are not called for if the private rate of return on investment equals the social return. This situation applies in growth models if the accumulation of a broad concept of capital does not entail diminishing returns, or if technological progress appears as an expanding variety of consumer products. In growth models that incorporate public services, the optimal tax policy hinges on the characteristics of the services. If the public services are publicly-provided private goods, which are rival and excludable, or publicly-provided public goods, which are non-rival and non- excludable, the lump-sum taxation is superior to income taxation. Many types of public goods are subject to congestion, and are therefore rival but to some extent non-excludable. In these cases, income taxation works approximately as a user fee and can therefore be superior to lump-sum taxation. In particular, the incentives for investment and growth are too high if taxes are lump sum. We argue that the congestion model applies to a wide array of public expenditures, including transportation facilities, public utilities, courts, and possibly national defense and police. (author's)
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  2. 2

    Commercialization of agriculture under population pressure: effects on production, consumption, and nutrition in Rwanda.

    von Braun J; de Haen H; Blanken J

    Washington, D.C., International Food Policy Research Institute, 1991. 123 p. (Research Report 85)

    This research reports on the effects of increased commercialization on production, household real income, family food consumption, expenditures, on nonfood goods and services, and the nutritional status of the population in Rwanda. The process by which household food consumption and nutritional status are affected by commercialization is described with emphasis on identifying the major elements and how each element is influenced by the change. The issue was whether agricultural production systems and efficient use of resources can be sustained under population pressure. The study area was the commune of Giciye in Gisenyi district in northwestern Rwanda. The area is mountainous and has very poor quality and acidic soils, with a deficiency of phosphorus. Population increase averaged 4.2%/year. There is a high prevalence of underconsumption and malnutrition. Subsistence food production is becoming increasingly more difficult. New activities include production of tea and expansion of potato production. There is beer processing from sorghum and off-farm employment. The forces driving commercialization are identified, followed by a discussion of the production and income effects of the commercialization process, the consumption relationships and effects, the consumption/nutrition/health links, and the longterm perspectives on rural development. The research design, theory, and data base are described. The conclusions were that increasing the rate of change in agricultural technology for subsistence crops would not maintain even the current levels of poverty; there must be reductions in population growth. The recommended strategy is to encourage diversification of the rural economy with specialization in both agriculture and nonagricultural products and to improve the human capital and infrastructure base. Labor productivity needs to be increased as well as employment expansion. Labor-intensive erosion control methods such as terracing are recommended as a resource investment, which are assumed to take into account women and their time constraints. Tea production which is considered a women's crop has offered off-farm employment opportunities. Consideration must be given to land tenure policy and issues of compensation for loss of land during the commercialization process. Health and sanitation measures are needed concurrently with economic development.
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  3. 3

    Report of the ESCAP/UNDP Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment and Sustainable Development: 13-18 May 1991, Jomtien, Thailand.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]

    Bangkok, Thailand, United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP], 1991. iv, 41 p. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 106)

    The 1991 meeting of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific considered the following topics: the interrelationships between population and natural resources, between population and the environment and poverty, and between population growth and consumption patterns, technological changes and sustainable development; the social aspects of the population-environment nexus (the effect of social norms and cultural practices); public awareness and community participation in population and environmental issues; and integration of population, environment, and development policies. The organization of the meeting is indicated. Recommendations were made. The papers on land, water, and air were devoted to a potential analytical model and the nature of the interlocking relationship between population, environment, and development. Dynamic balance was critical. 1 paper was presented on population growth and distribution, agricultural production and rural poverty; the practice of a simpler life style was the future challenge of the world. Several papers focused on urbanization trends and distribution and urban management policies. Only 1 paper discussed rural-urban income and consumption inequality and the consequences; some evidence suggests that increased income and equity is associated with improved resource management. Carrying capacity was an issue. The technological change paper reported that current technology contributed to overproduction and overconsumption and was environmentally unfriendly. The social norms paper referred to economic conditions that turned people away from sound environmental, cultural norms and practices. A concept paper emphasized women's contribution to humanism which goes beyond feminism; another presented an analytical summary of problems. 2 papers on public awareness pointed out the failures and the Indonesian experience with media. 1 paper provided a perspective on policy and 2 on the methodology of integration. The recommendations provided broad goals and specific objectives, a holistic and conceptual framework for research, information support, policies, resources for integration, and implementation arrangements. All activities must be guided by 1) unity of mankind, 2) harmony between population and natural resources, and 3) improvement in the human condition.
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  4. 4

    The most overpopulated nation.

    Ehrlich PR; Ehrlich AH

    NPG FORUM. 1991 Jan; 1-4.

    A stable population in the US in 1943 would have resulted in just 135 million people today making the import of foreign oil unnecessary. A population exerts an impact on the environment based on 3 factors: the size of the population (P), the level of per capita consumption or affluence (A), and the measure of the impact of technology (T). In the US the P factor is huge: 250 million people. The sum of A and T factors (per-capita environmental impact) is 1 1/2 times that of the Soviet Union, twice that of Britain, Sweden, France, or Australia, 14 times that of China, and 40 times that of India. Americans burn 1/4 of the world's fossil fuels spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and use chlorofluorocarbons extensively that also add to the greenhouse effect and deplete the vital ozone shield. The key to civilization's survival is the reduction of the P, A, and T factors. In rich nations this can be accomplished by much more efficient use of energy and transition toward negative population growth. The best strategy is the Holdren scenario: rich countries would reduce their per capita energy use from almost 8 kilowatts to 3 kilowatts. In poor countries, per capita use would increase from 1.2 to 3 kilowatts resulting in the same standard of living at the end of a century. To prevent longterm deterioration it will be necessary to reduce population size substantially below 10 billion. The optimum population size of the US would be around 75 million people, a permanently sustainable nation with a high quality of life.
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  5. 5

    Population and the food crisis.

    Hinrichsen D; Marshall A

    POPULI. 1991 Jun; 18(2):24-34.

    Between 1979-81 and 1986-87 cereal production per capita declined in 51 developing countries and rose in 43 out of the 94 countries for which Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data are available. Imports of cereals by developing countries rose from 20 million metric tons between 1969-71 to 69 million metric tons by 1983-85. This figure is projected to be 112 million metric tons by 2000. The deficits in developing countries have been made up by surpluses in developed countries; however, the drought of 1988 caused world cereal stock to drop from 451 million metric tons in 1990. The previous level was a safe 24% of consumption, the lower level was dangerous at 17%. Food crisis is brought about by 3 factors: 1) social organization, level of income, and lifestyles determine levels of consumption; 2) technology that is in wide spread use determines the quality (damaging or sustaining) and the quantity (waste products) of effect on the environment; 3) population serves as a multiplier of the 1st 2 factors to determine total impact. Another related factor is inequality which leads to poverty. Population plays another role as land is divided with each generation until the per household land holding is so small that it can not sustain the community. In 57 developing countries, 50% of the land holdings are smaller than 1 hectare. Also, every year 24 billion metric tons of topsoil are lost to erosion. Left unchecked this could lead to a 30% reduction in food production. Decertification has claimed 65 million hectares in the last 50 years just in sub-Saharan Africa. There are strategies for food security: 1) national population programs; 2) integrated planning of future needs; 3) sustainable development; 4) rural agricultural extension; 5) special extension services for women, who are the majority of the farmers in rural areas; 6) give women more legal rights so they can inherit land; 7) increase education for women in rural areas; 8) community development; 9) increase programs for maternal and child health; 10) support integration of traditional and emerging technologies for food production.
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  6. 6

    Energy, people, and industrialization.

    Lovins AB

    In: Resources, environment, and population: present knowledge, future options, edited by Kingsley Davis and Mikhail S. Bernstam. New York, New York/Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1991. 95-124. (Population and Development Review. Vol. 16. Supplement)

    While there are a variety of factors that will likely limit population and economic growth, energy need not be 1 of them. If currently known technologies are applied, energy constraints can be among the weakest. Energy need not limit traditional industrial expansion; however, there are goals more worthy than indiscriminate growth. By pursuing the narrowest economic interests, the energy problem can be solved by available new technologies that increase end-use efficiency primarily and increase conversion and sustainable supply secondarily. Between 1979-86 energy savings expanded available US energy by 700% as much as nuclear power did. Between 1984-86 that figure is 1300%. Because of energy efficiency improvements the energy cost from 1973 to present has been $430 billion rather than $580 billion, a savings of $150 billion. Since the 1st modern oil shock in 1974 the energy producing industry has been hiding behind government subsidies in an effort to put of the inevitable. Oil is nonrenewable, production is growing and reserves are rising. The ultimate irony is that when the infamous work. Limits of Growth was published a group called the cornicopians declared that everything would work out in the end and technology would solve everything. These technological optimists forgot that technology often is expensive, it has limits, and it usually has side effects. These same technological optimists are now saying such mundane, vernacular and transparent technologies as duct tape and chalking guns will not work and will not last. They were hoping for fusion reactors and got fluorescent lights instead. So they have come full circle from claiming that the omnipotence technology will save us, to rejecting the technology that is actually making a documented difference.
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  7. 7

    Sustainable development: from concept and theory to operational principles.

    Daly HE

    In: Resources, environment, and population: present knowledge, future options, edited by Kingsley Davis and Mikhail S. Bernstam. New York, New York/Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1991. 25-43. (Population and Development Review. Vol. 16. Supplement)

    Sustainable development is a relatively new economic term in the common vocabulary. Above all it is important to realize the critical difference between growth and development. In the past growth has been viewed as the ideal and as such all our economic measuring systems are based upon it. However, measuring the circular flow of exchange value makes it impossible to take into account the effect upon the environment that growth has. This old method was suitable in the past because of a misperception that growth is unlimited. A better way of measuring economics is to examine the entropic throughout of matter/energy. This system of measurement is consistent with the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics and consistent with the fact that we live in a finte world with finite resources. Thus, the old system only measures the scale but not the allocation of resources and per capita consumption. While the independence of allocation from distribution is widely known, the independence of allocation from scale is not. No matter how large the population or per capita consumption rate, an optimal allocation will be found for every scale. Yet measuring scale is of critical importance. If a ship is overloaded, it does not matter how evenly distributed the load is, it will sink. Some method must be devised and implemented which will keep economic scale within the limits of ecological carrying capacity. Achieving sustainable development will require some rethinking and a change of priority. Thus, qualitative improvement could be labeled development, and quantitative improvements could be labeled growth. Thus a steady state economy could continue to develop without growing. This is how planet Earth operates and economics is just another open system that must be allowed to develop without growing.
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  8. 8

    Healthy people -- in numbers the world can support.

    Sadik N

    WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1991; 12(3):347-55.

    The issues of health, development and population are all interrelated. There large, rapidly growing population can adversely affect both health and development. currently 95% of the population growth is occurring in the development world. Progress in development creates opportunities to improve health and reduce population through education and contraception. The general health of the population affects development because people need to be healthy in order to work and contribute to socioeconomic progress. By the year 2000 40% of the developing world's projected population of 5 billion will be under 25. It is now recognized that reducing the population is in everyone's best interest as the size it has reached is already having a negative effect on the world economy and health. In order to be successful the developed nations need to increase development assistance for international family planning to US$9 billion by 2000. In addition the role of women in development must be expanded, for without their inclusion in sustainable development planning, success will not come. Critical areas include education, employment and health care. Also, family planning and maternal/child health should be integrated into the general health care system in order to improve cost effectiveness and efficiency.
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  9. 9

    Ethics and the environment.

    Shrader-Frechette K

    WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1991; 12(3):311-21.

    Today the effect upon the environment have moral implications. In order to establish a list of priorities for human conduct, it is necessary to understand the value of our own human lives and the value of our ecosystem. Different schools of thought have different priorities that they each try to support. The technocratic individualist (TI) believes that the end of progress and economic expansion, justifies any means. This attitude leads to the exploitation of the earth and violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It leaves the planet bare and lifeless. Current methods employed by the TIs are based on consumptive methods that extract what is needed without any concern for the future. the TIs' methods result in the tragedy of the commons, in which the common people are exploited for the benefit of an elite few. The environmental holist (EH) claims that we must abandon the anthropocentric ethics of the TIs; however, the EHs suffer from both scientific and ethical problems. If we do as the EHS say and respect all life, we can not eat, fight disease, or build shelter. Further, if we value ourselves equally with the rest of the ecosystem, then we could easily justify violating human rights and decent conduct in an effort of avoid doing harm in the ecosystem. The best compromise between these 2 extremes lies in contract ethics. Because we benefited from the people of the past, we have an obligation, through a social contract, to the people of the future. The last element of an acceptable list of priorities of conduct lies in the distinction between strong and weak rights. Strong rights are those necessary for our survival, weak rights are those that give our lives meaning. Thus our ethical priorities should be: (1) duty to recognize strong human rights: (2) duty to protect environmental interests; (3) duty to recognize weak human rights.
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  10. 10

    People who live in green houses.

    Stetson M

    WORLD WATCH. 1991 Sep-Oct; 4(5):22-30.

    This article examines the struggle between developed and developing countries when it comes to reducing energy consumption and limit carbon emissions, necessary steps for averting global warming. Negotiators from across the world have begun discussing the issue, hoping to come to an agreement by next June, when the UN Conference on Environment and Development will meet in Brazil. Disagreement centers around the question of who is responsible for the greenhouse effect and who will pay to fix the problem. The report discusses energy consumption and its effects, the cost of producing energy, and possible ways of eliminating energy waste -- especially as it relates to the 3rd world. Currently, the industrialized world (along with the USSR and Eastern Europe) account for 70% of all carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption. Experts predict, however, that by the year 2025, the 3rd World will surpass the industrialized world in fossil fuel consumption. The author emphasizes the difference in energy use between the 2 regions: while people in developing countries burn wood and biomass to take care of basic necessities, much of the consumption in the developed world to goes towards luxuries and amenities. Inefficient power plants waste much of the energy consumed in the 3rd World. Although hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved annually by introducing energy-saving devices, skewed international lending, underpriced electricity, and the vested interests of the 3rd World industries work against such measures. The author explains that the technology necessary to significantly reduced carbon emissions already exists. Furthermore, 3rd World countries and most industrialized nations (with the exception of the US and the USSR) have agreed on the need to reduce carbon emissions.
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  11. 11

    Population growth can prevent the development that would slow population growth.

    Keyfitz N

    In: Preserving the global environment: the challenge of shared leadership, edited by Jessica T. Mathews. New York, New York/London, England, W. W. Norton, 1991. 39-77.

    The thesis that human population growth will eventually destroy the equilibrium of the world ecosystem, because environmental strain is a nonlinear effect of the linear growth, is embellished with discussions of technology and resulting pollution, population dynamics, birth and death rates, effects of expanded education, causes of urbanization, time constraints and destabilizing effects of partial development and the debt crisis. It is suggested that the terms renewable and nonrenewable resources are paradoxical, since the nonrenewable resoureces such as minerals will always exist, while renewable ecosystems and species are limited. The competitive economy actually accelerates destruction of biological resoureces because it overvalues rare species when they have crossed the equilibrium threshold and are in decline. Technological outputs are proportional to population numbers: therefore adverse effects of population should be considered in billions, not percent increase even though it is declining. Even the United Nations does not have predictions of the effects of added billions, taking into account improved survival and decreased infant mortality. Rapid urbanization of developing countries and their debt crisis have resulted from political necessity from the point of view of governments in power, rather than mere demographics. Recommendations are suggested for U.S. policy based on these points such as enlightened political leadership, foreign aid, and scientific investment with the health of the world ecosystem in mind rather than spectacle and local political ideology.
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