Negative Effects Of Population

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In 1798 with the publication of An Essay on the Principle of Population, the famous pam- phlet in which the Reverend Thomas Mal- thus argued that food production could not keep pace with population's natural pro- clivity to grow in an unchecked fashion. In the absence of prudential checks, the result would be starvation, vice, and mis- ery, and a tendency for economies to stag- nate at a subsistence level of income. In one of the most famous passages in all of economics, Malthus concluded: Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second. (1798, p. 14).
His pessimistic speculations
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Birdsall 1988; Kelley 1985; King 1985; and Srinivasan 1988b) (cited in (Kelley, 1988), I argue that Economic growth (as measured by per capita output) in many developing countries would have been more rapid in an environment of slower population growth, although in a number of countries the im- pact of population was probably negligible, and in some it may have been positive. Population's adverse impact has most likely occurred where arable land and water are particularly scarce or costly to acquire, where property rights to land and natural resources are poorly defined, and where government policies are biased against the most abundant factor of production-labor. Population's positive impact most likely oc- curred where natural resources are abun- dant, where the possibilities for scale econ- omies are substantial, and where markets and other institutions (especially govern- ment) allocate resources in a reasonably ef- ficient way over time and space. Because there is no believable and generally ac- cepted quantitative estimate of population's impact on development, only a qualitative (a direction-of-impact) assessment can be made. This assessment, positive or negative, varies from country to country, over time, and possibly with the rate of population growth. What is clear is that an assessment of the impact of population growth on economic development is highly complex, that problems like…show more content…
According to this theory, rapid population growth forces fami- lies to consume what otherwise would be savings, adversely affecting national savings rates and thus capital formation and invest- ment rates as well. Moreover, high youth de- pendency ratios force nations to invest scarce capital in a game of "catch-up" as they at- tempt to provide education, infrastructure, and jobs for burgeoning populations (Simmons 1988:129-31). Allocating capital to nonproductive segments of the population (e.g., educational expenditures) forces a na- tion to undercapitalize its existing labor force (Bloom and Freeman 1988). (Crenshaw et al.,
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