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What is on a Demographer’s Mind?


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  • Hendrik P. Van Dalen

    (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute)

  • Kène Henkens

    (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute)


How does demography as a science function? Is this discipline characterized by consensus in approach and outlook, as so many commentators claim, or is there widespread dissent? On the basis of an internet survey, carried out from April to September 2009 among IUSSP members, this paper sheds light on such questions. Demographers are divided on what the population size - globally and locally - should be, and when government should intervene in matters of fertility, if at all. There is however a high level of consensus on method and the significance of individual scholars’ contributions. Demographers are highly empirical and multidisciplinary in their approach, and they share a respect for broad-minded demographers who cover various terrains of the study of population.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 16 (May)
Pages: 363-408

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Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:26:y:2012:i:16

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Keywords: demographers; opinion; science; survey;

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  1. Sanjeev Goyal & Marco van der Leij & José Luis Moraga-Gonzàlez, 2004. "Economics: An Emerging Small World?," Working Papers 2004.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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  4. Hendrik P. Dalen & Kène Henkens, 1999. "How Influential Are Demography Journals?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 229-251.
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  8. Hendrik P. Dalen & Kène Henkens, 2004. "Demographers and Their Journals: Who Remains Uncited After Ten Years?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(3), pages 489-506.
  9. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Dalen, H.P. van & Micevska Scharf, M., 2011. "Reproductive Health Aid: A Delicate Balancing Act," Discussion Paper 2011-027, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.


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