Population Growth, Economic Growth and the Environment in the United States

  • Ronald G. Ridker
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


The most recent spate of intellectual and scholarly interest in the resource and environmental consequences of population and economic growth arises from two main sources. The first has to do with predictions of growing scarcity of natural resources and environmental carrying capacity. The most extreme version is to be found in the doomsday literature of the last two or three years which in one way or another argues that population and economic growth are pressing against the finite limits of the earth and soon must stop if catastrophe in the form of dramatically increased death-rates throughout the world is to be avoided. In less extreme form this theme can be found in worries over the increasing dependence of major consumers of natural resources on foreign sources of supply and over the growing economic costs of correcting local environmental problems. The second source of recent interest is with the effects, particularly the economic and social effects, of the declining rates of growth of population currently being experienced in most developed countries, a concern that is characterised by the question ‘will ZPG lead to ZEG’, that is, ‘will zero population growth eventually result in a stagnant economy and society?’


Economic Growth Population Growth Labour Force Saving Rate Demographic Growth 
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Copyright information

© The International Economic Association 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald G. Ridker
    • 1
  1. 1.Resources for the futureWashington D.CUSA

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