IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Population and Environment

  • Theodore Panayotou
Registered author(s):

    The past fifty years have witnessed two simultaneous and accelerating trends: an explosive growth in population and a steep increase in resource depletion and environmental degradation. These trends have fueled the debate on the link between population and environment that began 150 years earlier, when Malthus voiced his concern about the ability of the earth and its finite resources to feed an exponentially growing population. The purpose of this study is to review the literature on population and environment and to identify the main strands of thought and the assumptions that lie behind them. The author begins with a review of the historical perspective. He then reviews and assesses the evidence on the relationship between population and environment, focusing on selected natural and environmental resources: land use, water use, local pollution, deforestation and climate change. The author also reviews selected recent macro and micro perspectives. The new macro perspective introduces the environment-income relationship and examines the role of population growth and density in mediating this relationship. The new micro perspective introduces the close relationship between poverty and environmental degradation, also examining the roles of gender in decision-making and the role of children as economic assets in fertility decisions. Finally, the author carries out a comparative assessment of the approaches and methods employed in the literature to explain the wide variation in findings and predictions. This literature review demonstrates that there is little agreement on the relationship between population and growth, and even whether any relationship exists at all. Empirical research has been unable to resolve the issue because of limited data, divergent methodologies, and varying levels of analysis.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/pdf/054.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 54.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: Jul 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:54
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID). 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
    Fax: 617-496-2554
    Web page: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:54. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.