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The application of economic-demographic models to development planning.

United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]. Population Division
Population Research Leads. 1985; (19):1-15.

The Population Division's evaluation of the role of population factors in the planning process through the application of economic-demographic models shows that procedures for considering the short and long-term implications of population growth can be significantly improved. The Division's research projects demonstrate that models can help planners to achieve an efficient allocation of scarce resources, set clear-cut national objectives and provide a national sense of political and social purpose. There are many advantages in applying economic-demographic models to development planning in order to integrate population factors within the development process, yet care must be taken in adopting and/or applying a certain model at the national level. Aside from the question of adopting a model, the question of the applicability and application of models is emphasized. The choice of model structure is discussed in terms of 4 major issues: 1) the choice of a central core; 2) the trade-off between simplicity and complexity and the appropriate degree of endogeneity; 3) the choice of a demand or supply orientation; and 4) the criteria for selecting a particular model for use. A representative selection of economic demographic models is presented. Included are the TEMPO (designed to illustrate the benefits of reduced fertility) and Long-Range Planning Models (LAPM--designed to illustrate the implications of policy assumptions for economic development, particularly in regard to health and education), both developed by the US government. Also described are the BACHUE and the UN Fund for Populations Activities (UNFPA)/ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) models. It is argued that these latter models offer the greatest promise as tools for planning in the ESCAP Region, at the present time. As the BACHUE model is primarily concerned with employment and the distribution of income and the UNFPA/FAO model with agriculture, incorporating both into the planning process could be desirable.

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