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Population Theories Malthus and Boserup Critical Comparison and Application Dr. Manish Kr. Semwal 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS1.

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Presentation on theme: "Population Theories Malthus and Boserup Critical Comparison and Application Dr. Manish Kr. Semwal 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Population Theories Malthus and Boserup Critical Comparison and Application Dr. Manish Kr. Semwal 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS1

2 Malthus ( ) A mathematician, a clergyman, and Britain’s first professor of political economy Known as “father of demography” One of the most influential thinkers of his day, which was a period of improved social change, Industrial Revolution, idea less world 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS2

3 Malthus ’ s An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) First edition proposed a quite stark & simple model, & drew social policy conclusions from it Perhaps for that reason, it had a dramatic impact on public debates Second and later versions were more nuanced in argument, much better supported evidentially - & less interesting 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS3

4 Malthus started from two assumptions 1. Food is necessary for survival 2. “ The passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain in its present condition ” From these he asserted that population growth would always have the potential to outpace economic growth 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS4

5 Malthus ’ Theory of Population Growth In 1798 Thomas Malthus published his views on the effect of population on food supply. His theory has two basic principles: Population grows at a geometric rate i.e. 1, 2, 4, 16, 32, etc. Food production increases at an arithmetic rate i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS5

6 The consequence of these two principles is that eventually, population will exceed the capacity of agriculture to support the new population numbers. Population would rise until a limit to growth was reached. Further growth would be limited when: – preventive checks - postponement of marriage (lowering of fertility rate), increased cost of food etc. – positive checks - famine, war, disease, would increase the death rate. 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS6

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8 Population grows geometrically…. Population exceeds carrying capacity… Population is kept in “ check ” – preventative and/or positive checks 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS8

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10 Proposed Solutions Two types of checks hold population within resource limits: positive checks: which raise the death rate; hunger, disease and war. preventative checks: which lower the birth rate; abortion, birth control, prostitution, postponement of marriage and celibacy. 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS10

11 Thus some ‘check’ must limit population growth Accordingly, Malthus saw two ways to keep population and resources in balance- 1: the ‘positive check’ – mortality; deaths 2: the ‘preventive check’ – nuptiality; marriages, or rather constraints on them He ruled out contraception as immoral 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS11

12 Positive and preventive checks Positive check Population size rises Real income falls Mortality increases (poorer diets & living conditions) Population size falls Preventive check Population size rises Real income falls Marriages are postponed (they become unaffordable) Fertility falls Population size falls 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS12

13 Limitation- Access to relevant data Economic history (Phelps-Brown & Hopkins) & historical demography (Wrigley & Schofield) now allow a much fuller assessment of, say, the English historical data than Malthus himself could make P-B & H produced real wages index based on wages of building workers & price of food W & S inferred demography from parish registers 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS13

14 Thus Malthus was in a way successful But his model took some aspects of society, economy, agriculture etc. as static They were then undergoing rapid change, so his model described the past better than the future This is perhaps partly why he has subsequently been seen as conservative ‘ Malthusian ’ sometimes even used to mean ‘ opposed to social improvement ’ 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS14

15 Need to incorporate social change in population models: at present What is the role of population dynamics in situations of complex social, economic & technological change? Such situations may be those of globalization in the present day Economic development, modernization 19 th -century industrialization even in developing countries. Earlier changes: agriculture & urbanization 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS15

16 Boserup The Conditions of Agricultural Growth: The Economics of Agrarian Change under Population Pressure 1965 Danish agricultural economist, with field experience in India & other Asian countries Interested in the interaction between population growth and innovation, e.g. in agricultural practice & technology Although neither a demographer nor an anthropologist or archaeologist, she has proved to be an important influence on all 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS16

17 Archaeological background How does past population growth relate to social, cultural, economic, technical change, e.g. agriculture, urbanization? Archaeologists e.g. Childe had often taken the benefits of such changes to be obvious Assumed they would be implemented as soon as society was advanced enough Population growth would then follow 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS17

18 Boserup & archaeology Boserup ’ s implication for archaeology was to turn previous assumption on its head Population growth was not so much the end- product of social & technical change Rather, population growth was an extrinsic pressure, driving changes which otherwise might not have happened Far-reaching implications for archaeology & anthropology, still being explored 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS18

19 Boserup’s Theory of Population Growth In contrast to Malthus, instead of too many mouths to feed, Boserup emphasized the positive aspects of a large population; In simple terms, Boserup suggested that the more people there are, the more hands there are to work; She argued that as population increases, more pressure is placed on the existing agricultural system, which stimulates invention; The changes in technology allow for improved crop strains and increased yields. 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS19

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21 Increased Food Production Draining Marshlands. Extensification. Intensification. Reclaiming land from sea. Cross-breeding cattle. High-yield plant varieties. Terracing on steep slopes. Fish farming. Growing crops in greenhouses. More sophisticated irrigation techniques. Creation of new foods such as soy. Using artificial pesticides. New species 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS21

22 So what did Boserup actually say? When a population is over-crowded, it evolves new forms of agriculture High density of population is neutral, neither good nor bad, but usually needed for development of new techniques With historical change, humankind has moved through a series of increasingly intensive agricultural systems Each requires & supports more people 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS22

23 Testing Boserup No long-run data series like Wrigley & Schofield ’ s for Malthus is available for testing Boserup ’ s model Nonetheless specific examples often support the propositions such as: farmers generally have to do more subsistence work than hunter-gatherers; work further increases with intensification of agriculture 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS23

24 Malthus and Boserup 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS24

25 Present Situation 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS25

26 Anti-populationists vs. pronatalists Malthus– anti-populationist – Echoed in recent debates by Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb; – Ehrlich believed that the earth ’ s carrying capacity would quickly be exceeded, resulting in widespread famine and population reductions; Boserup– pronatalist (cornucopian) – Echoed in recent debates by Julian Simon, who opposed Ehrlich by using economic theories; ie. Resources needed to support populations are becoming more abundant, not scarcer; 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS26

27 Malthus & Boserup There is evidence to suggest that the ideas of Malthus and Boserup may be appropriate at different scales. On a global level the growing suffering and famine in some LEDC ’ s may reinforce Malthusian ideas. On a national scale some governments have been motivated by increasing populations to develop their resources to meet growing demands. 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS27

28 Case Study Example Mauritius 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS28

29 Location Map Mauritius 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS29

30 Map of Mauritius Built up area N 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS30

31 Mauritius: Population Change Population 1992: 1,094, : 1,365,000 Growth Rate: 1.45% Pop doubling time: 47 years Fertility Rate: 2.17 children 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS31

32 Mauritius: Physical Geography Area: 1860 sq km Natural Resources: arable land & fish Agriculture: a/c for 10% GDP Climate: tropical Soils: fertile Exports: sugar 32%; garments 31%; plastics 32%; others 5% 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS32

33 The Issues? 1.What can we say about the rate of population growth in Mauritius? 2. How does the graph opposite contribute to our understanding of population growth in Mauritius? 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS33

34 Crisis? What Crisis? Consider the graph again. To what extent do you agree with this statement: In the 1950’s Mauritius was experiencing a ‘Malthusian crisis’ 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS34

35 Possible Answer! Birth rate had risen sharply from 35 to 45+ per thousand Death Rate had declined sharply from 30 to 15 per thousand Rate of natural increase suddenly very steep PRESSURE ON THE ECONOMY/NATURAL RESOURCES/AGRICULTURE 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS35

36 Population Resources Equation Population increasing Diminishing resources (more mouths to feed and more people to support) RESOURCES POP’N 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS36

37 What happened next? Malthus - doom & gloom? OR Boserup - ‘technological’ change 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS37

38 Government Intervention The Government organised a family planning programme, aiming to: improve the status of women restrict early marriage provide better health care set up a family planning service 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS38

39 Other influencing factors 1 Changes in attitude to family size improved educational opportunities for women improved female work opportunities (by % of women were in paid employment (22% in 1975)) getting married later on in life 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS39

40 Other influencing factors 2 Diversification of agriculture Investment in industry Improved trading links - as an ex colony of the UK it is quite ‘westernised’ and has a democratic, stable Government - this has helped forge links with the USA Many TNC’s are drawn to Mauritius - Why might this be? Suggest some reasons!!! 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS40

41 Mauritius - TNC Attractor! Holds ‘Export Processing Zone’ (EPZ) status Tax incentives available Has large numbers of well educated residents Good level of investment in transport Good supply of cheap labour The creation of a Freeport at Port Louis 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS41

42 Population Resources Equation RESOURCES POPULATION 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS42

43 Thank You Manish Kr. Semwal 1/20/12Manish Semwal GMIS43


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