The Optimum Rate of Population Growth

  • Patrick Guillaumont
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


In the great theoretical and political discussion of today concerning the economic consequences of population growth, the notion of the optimum rate of population growth should, one might think, have a particularly important place. In fact, it has been strangely ignored. It has certainly been implicit in the formulation of various recent doctrinal issues. The zero rate of population growth proposed more and more often for the United States, as also for the rest of the world, represents one extreme concept of the optimum rate of population growth. But whilst this slogan—decked out with graphs and calculations — has more effect on public opinion than a more elaborate theory, this has not resulted in more light being shed on the discussion. The discussion has merely become more topical, which brings us back to the question: Why has this idea been so little investigated? Are we to think that economists are avoiding the essential or that the idea of an optimum rate of population growth is without foundation? Whilst such a concept seems to be suggested by common sense, in view of the contradictory statements of theory, the latter scarcely appears to support it.


Human Capital Population Growth Technological Progress Optimum Rate Dependence Ratio 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The International Economic Association 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Guillaumont
    • 1
  1. 1.Université De ClermontFrance

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