The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Cormac Ó Gráda
Reference work entry


Today the ultimate Malthusian check of ‘gigantic, inevitable famine’ is confined to the very poorest pockets of the globe. Economic development, medical technology and the globalization of disaster relief have reduced the size and duration of famines in the recent past. On the other hand, totalitarianism and the enhanced role of human agency produced in the 20th century some of the biggest famines ever. Topics discussed include the demography and long-run impact of famine, the role of public and private action in relieving those at risk, and how markets function during famines.


Agency problems Charitable donations Corruption Democracy Demographic transition Epidemiological transition Famines Fertility Food availability declines Food markets Global warming Health Hoarding Life expectancy Malthus, T.R. Migration Mortality Non-governmental organizations Nutrition Poverty Public works Sen, A.K 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cormac Ó Gráda
    • 1
  1. 1.