Developments in Major Fields of Economics
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 32: Population
Reflections on population in economic analysis are rarely separated from comments on poverty, the prospects for economic development and, more generally, on well-being (Stangeland 1904; Overbeek 1974). In other words, the problem of population is discussed in the context of an inquiry into the causes and socio-economic consequences of demographic trends. To reconstruct the general terms of economic analysis on the problem of population, two periods can be distinguished: the period up until the second half of the sixteenth century and the period thereafter. The main difference between the two is that while in the first period we encounter essentially only reflections and conjectures on the causes of demographic dynamics, from the mid-1650s onwards a coordinated body of knowledge and theoretical reflections on the topic of population gradually emerge.
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