Population and Resources: An Exploration of Reproductive and Environmental Externalities
This article identifies four types of social externalities associated with fertility behavior. Three are shown to be pronatalist in their effects. These three are exemplified by the way theories of economic growth treat fertility and natural resources, the way population growth and economic stress in poor countries are seen by environmental and resource economists, and the way development economists accommodate environmental stress in their analysis of poverty. It is shown that the fourth type of externality, in which children are regarded as an end in themselves, can even provide an invidious link between fertility decisions and the use of the local natural-resource base among poor rural households in poor countries. The fourth type is used to develop a theory of fertility transitions in the contemporary world; the theory views such transitions as disequilibrium phenomena. Copyright 2000 by The Population Council, Inc..
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Volume (Year): 26 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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