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[The controversies over population growth and economic development] Die Kontroversen um Bevolkerungswachstum und wirtschaftliche Entwicklung.
In: Probleme und Chancen demographischer Entwicklung in der dritten Welt, edited by Gunter Steinmann, Klaus F. Zimmermann, and Gerhard Heilig. New York, New York/Berlin, Germany, Federal Republic of, Springer-Verlag, 1988. 19-35.This paper presents a broad review of the major theoretical and political viewpoints concerning population growth and economic development. The western nations represent one side of the controversy; based on their experience with population growth in their former colonies, the western countries attempted to accelerate development by means of population control. The underlying economic reason for this approach is that excess births interfere with public and private savings and thus reduce the amount of capital available for development investment. A parallel assumption on the social side is that families had more children than they actually desired and that it was only proper to furnish families with contraceptives in order to control unwanted pregnancies. The competing point of view maintains that forcing the pace of development would unleash productive forces and stimulate better distribution of wealth by increasing social pressures on governments. The author traces the interaction between these two viewpoints and shows how the Treaty of Bucharest in 1974 marked a compromise between the two population policies and formed the basis for the activities of the population agencies of UN. The author then considers the question of whether European development can serve as a model for the present day 3rd World. The large differences between the sizes of age cohorts and the pressure that these differences exert upon internal population movements and the availability of food and housing is more important than the raw numbers alone.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. ix, 534 p. (International Conference on Population, 1984; Statements ST/ESA/SER.A/90)Contained in this volume are the report (Part I) and the selected papers (Part II) of the Expert Group on Population, Resources, Environment and Development which review past trends and their likely future course in each of the 4 areas, taking into account not only evolving concepts but also the need to consider population, resources, environment and development as a unified structure. Trends noted in the population factor include world population growth and the differences between rates in the developed and developing countries; the decline in the proportion of the population who are very young and the concomitant increase in the average age of the population. Discussed within the resource factor are the labor force, the problem of increasing capital shortage, expenditures on armaments, trends in the supply and productivity of arable land, erosion and degradation of topsoil and energy sources. Many of the problems identified overlap with the environment factor, which centers on the problem of pollution. The group on the development factor was influenced by a pervasiv sense of "crisis" in current economic trends. Concern was also expressed regarding the qualitative aspects of current development trends, defined as the perverse effects of having adopted inappropriate styles of development. Part II begins with a general overview of recent levels and trends in the 4 areas along with the concepts of carrying capacity and optimum population. Other papers discuss the impact of trends in resources, environment and development on demographic prospects; long-term effects of global population growth on the international system; economic considerations in the choice of alternative paths to a stationary population and the need for integration of demographic factors in development planning. The various papers on the resources and environment factor focus on resources as a barrier to population growth; the effects of population growth on renewable resources; food production and population growth in Africa; the frailty of the balance between the 4 areas and the need for a holistic approach on a scale useful for regional planning. Also addressed are: social development; population and international economic relations; development, lifestyles, population and environment in Latin America; issues of population growth, inequality and poverty; health, population and development trends; education requirements and trends in female literacy; the challenge posed by the aging of populations; and population and development in the ECE region.