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Extra resources for Economic Factors in Population Growth: Proceedings of a Conference held by the International Economic Association at Valescure, France

Sample text

Mr Black said that Professor Ohlin emphasised the divergence between the economic and the sociological approach. This had been historically true but was no longer so, as he thought the discussions in the conference had shown. Professor Bourcier de Carbon wanted to ask Professor Ohlin whether, in the social tensions he mentioned, the relation between demographic processes and inflation was important. A. The same was true in France and in less-developed countries. Very rapid population growth might therefore be a permanent inflationary factor.

In practice, both were always, in a sense, integrally linked; so historical development had a major effect on our perceptions and we were now in a phase which might soon lead to a different vIew. ' Surely when using statistical tests one must assume that people did get more or less the number of children they expected. If not, what did the coefficients of statistical tests show? Dr Lesthaeghe noted that in the early part of the paper Professor Ohlin concentrated on only one variable-mortality (or, more accurately, infant mortality).

B. The various steps from the statics to the dynamics of demoeconomics To establish the meaning of an optimum rate of population growth, different steps must be distinguished in moving from the statics to the dynamics: (a) pure statics: the economic effects of a demographic change of population are examined, all other things being considered equal. In this way the concepts of overpopulation and underpopulation are defined. They are defined in terms of various criteria, the chief of which are (see Guillaumont 1971b, 52-3): (i) maximum average productivity: this is the static optimum of population; 1 See the description of Sismondi's concept, revived by Say, in Guillaumont, 1969, pp.

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