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Population and Agricultural Development

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • James Roumasset, 2007. "Population and Agricultural Development," Working Papers 200702, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200702
    as

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    File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_07-2.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. James 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 (SEARCA), vol. 1(1), pages 61-82, June.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development

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