The Population Debate in Historical Perspective: Revisionism Revisited
AbstractThere appeared to be a dramatic shift of thinking from an alarmist and pessimistic assessment of the consequences of population growth prevalent before 1985, to a more balanced and eclectic assessment thereafter. It is argued that this shift, sometimes denoted as "revisionist thinking," is due less to a shift amongst economic demographers, and more to the elevation of economists' views vis-a-vis those of demographers, biologists, and others. The impact of the 1986 National Academy Report was profound, causing a careful consideration of the 1971 NAS report, discovered to be badly flawed in its presentation. Revisionism is re-defined to emphasize less the bottom-line results and more the methodology of evaluation, where a long-run perspective is espoused and (positive) feedbacks of initial adverse impacts of population growth are highlighted.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 99-09.
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in POPULATION DOES MATTER: DEMOGRAPHY, GROWTH AND POVERTY IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD, Nancy Birdsall, Allen C. Kelley and Steven Sinding, editors, Oxford University Press, 2001.
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