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Population, poverty, and the natural environment

In: Handbook of Environmental Economics

Author

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  • Dasgupta, Partha

Abstract

This chapter studies the interface in poor countries of population growth, rural poverty, and deterioration of the local natural-resource base, a subject that has been much neglected by modern demographers and development economists. The motivations for procreation in rural communities of the poorest regions of the world are analyzed, and recent work on the relevance of gender relationships to such motivations is summarized. Four potentially significant social externalities associated with fertility behavior and use of the local natural-resource base are identified. Three are shown to be pronatalist in their effects, while the fourth is shown to be ambiguous, in that it can be either pro- or anti-natalist. It is shown that one of the externalities may even provide an invidious link between fertility decisions and the use of the local natural-resource base. The fourth type of externality is used to develop a theory of fertility transitions in the contemporary world. The theory views such transitions as disequilibrium phenomena.

Suggested Citation

  • Dasgupta, Partha, 2003. "Population, poverty, and the natural environment," Handbook of Environmental Economics,in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 191-247 Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:envchp:1-05
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rodríguez, Luis C. & Pascual, Unai & Muradian, Roldan & Pazmino, Nathalie & Whitten, Stuart, 2011. "Towards a unified scheme for environmental and social protection: Learning from PES and CCT experiences in developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2163-2174, September.
    2. Constant, Karine & Nourry, Carine & Seegmuller, Thomas, 2014. "Population growth in polluting industrialization," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 229-247.
    3. Vincent, Jeffrey R., 2012. "Ecosystem services and green growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6233, The World Bank.
    4. World Bank, 2007. "Poverty and Environment : Understanding Linkages at the Household Level," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7744, The World Bank.
    5. Dasgupta, Partha, 2010. "The Place of Nature in Economic Development," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    6. World Bank, 2007. "Poverty and Environment : Understanding Linkages at the Household Level," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6924, October.
    7. Karine Constant & Carine Nourry & Thomas Seegmuller, 2011. "Polluting Industrialization," Working Papers halshs-00633608, HAL.
    8. Himayatullah Khan & Ehsan Inamullah & Khadija Shams, 2009. "Population, environment and poverty in Pakistan: linkages and empirical evidence," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 375-392, April.
    9. Barbier, Edward B., 2012. "Natural capital, ecological scarcity and rural poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6232, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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