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Population Growth and Economic Development

  • A. P. Thirlwall

Abstract

The relation between population growth and economic development is not an easy topic to write about. The connections are complex, and the historical quantitative evidence is ambiguous, particularly concerning what is cause and what is effect. Does economic development precede population growth, or is population growth a necessary condition for economic development to take place? The complexity of the subject is compounded by the fact that economic development is a multi-dimensional concept meaning different things to different people. For the purposes of this chapter, I shall define economic development as a sustained increase in the level of per capita income, although bearing in mind Goulet’s (1971) three-core components of a wider meaning of development, namely, life-sustenance, self-esteem and freedom. The level of per capita income may be a reasonable proxy for life sustenance, but a poor indicator of the distribution of income and of educational and job opportunities which give people self-respect, independence and freedom to choose.

Keywords

Population Growth Capita Income Living Standard National Income Birth Control Programme 
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

© Colin Clark Trust Fund, Department of Economics, University of Queensland 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. P. Thirlwall

There are no affiliations available

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