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The Principle of Population for the 21st Century: The Never Coming Stationary State


  • Machay Martin

    (Faculty of Economics and Administration – Department of Economics, Lipová 41a, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic)


Forward-thinking is one of the most enchanting areas in economics. While Malthus and Ricardo agreed on the gloomy vision of the future, Mill described the wider stationary state and foresaw it in a more optimistic way. Space sciences and improvements in our technology provided us with the solution decades ago, although economics have not noticed this possible solution of the classical stationary state until now. This article incorporates this knowledge into economics. Calories integrate the supply of means of production and the demand for means of consumption in one market. The stationary state could come only if the demand for means of subsistence grows faster than the supply of means of production. Increasing scarcity of free calories exceeding the minimal required volume of it preventing the malnutrition and death will push the calorie price up while economy will move towards the stationary state. But where to get the land when the very last piece of it - even the deserts - will have been already cultivated? Increasing scarcity of land opens possibility for firms to make profit from producing land. Thus, the classical stationary state is only an illusion.

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  • Machay Martin, 2012. "The Principle of Population for the 21st Century: The Never Coming Stationary State," Review of Economic Perspectives, De Gruyter Open, vol. 12(3), pages 168-184, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:reoecp:v:12:y:2012:i:3:p:168-184:n:3

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