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POPULI. 1987; 14(1):39-47.This reevaluation of the demographic transition theory of Notestein (1945) presents a view of developing countries trapped in the 2nd stage and unable to achieve the economic and social gains counted upon to reduce births. Among the half of the world's countries that have not yet reached the demographic transition, 5 regions have growth rates of 2.2% or more yearly, or 20-fold per century, a are unable to prevent declining living standards and deteriorating ecological life-support systems. These are Southeast Asia (except Japan, China, and possibly Thailand and Indonesia), Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa. In these countries, death rates will begin to rise, reversing the process of demographic transition. Examples of this phenomenon include 7 countries in West Africa with deteriorating agricultural and fuelwood yields, such that a World Bank study concluded that desertification is inevitable without a technological breakthrough. The elements of the life-support system, food, water, fuelwood and forests, are interrelated, and their failure will create "ecological refugees." When economic resources of jobs and income are added to biological resources, conflict and social instability will further hamper implementation of sound population policies. For the 1st time, governments are faced with the task of reducing birth rates as living conditions deteriorate, a challenge requiring new approaches. There are examples, such as China, where broad-based, inexpensive health care systems and well-designed family planning programs have encouraged small families without widespread economic gains. The most needed ingredient is leadership.
China: long-term development issues and options. The report of a mission sent to China by the World Bank.
Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985. xiii, 183 p. (World Bank Country Economic Report)This report summarizes the conclusions of a World Bank study undertaken in 1984 to identify the key development issues China is expected to face in the next 20 years. Among the areas addressed by chapters in this monograph are agricultural prospects, energy development, spatial issues, international economic strategy, managing industrial technology, human development, mobilizing financial resources, and development management. China's economic prospects are viewed as dependinding upon success in mobilizing and effectively using all available resources, especially people. This in turn will depend on sucess in reforming the system of economic management, including progress in 3 areas: 1) greater use of market regulation to stimulate innovation and efficiency; 2) stronger planning, combining indirect with direct economic control; and 3) modification and extension of social institutions and policies to maintain the fairness in distribution that is basic to socialism in the face of the greater inequality and instability that may result from market regulation and indirect controls. Over the next 2 decades, China can be expected to become a middle-income country. The government has set the goal of quadrupling the gross value of industrial and agricultural output between 1980 and 2000 and increasing per capita income from US$300 to $800. China's size and past emphasis on local self-sufficiency offer opportunities for enormous economic gains through increased specialization and trade among localities. Increased rural-urban migration seems probable and desirable, although an increase in urban services and infrastructure will be required. The expected slow rate of population increase is an important foundation for China's favorable economic growth prospects. On the other hand, it may not be desirable to hold fertility below the replacement level for very long, given the effects this would have on the population's age structure. The increase in the proportion of elderly people will be a serious social issue in the next century, and reforms of the social security system need to be considered.
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.