The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Population and Agricultural Growth

  • James Roumasset
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_2275

Abstract

Thinking about population as a driver of agricultural development provides insights into induced technical and institutional change, whether it be Ester Boserup’s declining fallow period, modern crop varieties, or the horizontal and vertical specialization that arise in labour-intensive agriculture. The non-convexities of research and development, infrastructure investments, and specialization imply that modest population pressure does not necessarily exert downward pressure on wages. As agricultural growth stimulates industrialization, the non-convexities of specialization become ever more compact. The combination of these and the increased demand for human capital, if not inhibited by policy failures, tends to promote a virtuous circle of human progress.

Keywords

Black Death Capital intensity Child care Development economics Dismal science Division of labour Elasticity of substitution Endogenous growth theory Endogenous population growth Exchange labour Fertility Governance Human capital Immiserizing growth Indivisibilities Induced institutional change Induced technical change Industrialization Innovation possibility frontier Intergenerational neutrality Kuznets curve Labour intensification Labour market contracts Labour productivity Learning-by-doing Leisure Malthus’s theory of population Mortality Natural capital New classical economics New household economics Non-convexity Population and agricultural growth Population growth Poverty alleviation Property rights Rent seeking Research and development Resource depletion Shadow pricing Sharecropping Specialization Spot markets Steady state Subsistence Sustainability criteria Sustainable development Transaction costs 
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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Roumasset
    • 1
  1. 1.