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Population and Agricultural Development

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  • James Roumasset

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Abstract

Thinking about population as a driver of agricultural development provides insights into induced technical and institutional change, whether it be Esther Boserup's declining fallow period, modern crop varieties, or the specialization pyramid that arises in labor-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.

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File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_07-2.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200702.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 03 Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200702

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Keywords: population; agricultural development; Boserup; non-convexities; specialization; institutional change;

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  1. Kelley, Allen C, 1988. "Economic Consequences of Population Change in the Third World," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1685-1728, December.
  2. Prabhu Pingali, 2007. "Agricultural growth and economic development: a view through the globalization lens," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(s1), pages 1-12, December.
  3. James P. Roumasset, 2004. "Rural Institutions, Agricultural Development, and Pro-Poor Economic Growth," Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, vol. 1(1), pages 61-82, June.
  4. Barrett, C. B. & Reardon, T. & Webb, P., 2001. "Nonfarm income diversification and household livelihood strategies in rural Africa: concepts, dynamics, and policy implications," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 315-331, August.
  5. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
  6. Barrett, Scott, 1991. "Optimal soil conservation and the reform of agricultural pricing policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 167-187, October.
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