Famine, demography and endemic poverty
This paper investigates the possible long-term effects of famine on endemic poverty. Four alternative hypotheses are considered-one Malthusian and three post-Malthusian. The Malthusian hypothesis regards famine as a temporary escape valve from extreme privations, from the point of view of the survivors of famine. By contrast, the first post-Malthusian hypothesis views famine as having been the principle perpetuator of endemic poverty in the pre-modern world. The next hypothesis takes the extreme opposite view that famine has no significant long-term effect on poverty. The final hypothesis covers the middle ground and contends that even though famine may not be the principal perpetuator of poverty, it does have the potential of accentuating endemic poverty. The paper argues in favour of the final hypothesis and elaborates on the channels-some demographic, some economic, and some social-through which the long-term adverse effects of famine are likely to be transmitted.
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Volume (Year): 8 (1996)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
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