Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume III
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Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume III

Developments in Major Fields of Economics

Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz

Volume III contains entries on the development of major fields in economics from the inception of systematic analysis until modern times. The reader is provided with succinct summary accounts of the main problems, the methods used to address them and the results obtained across time. The emphasis is on both the continuity and the major changes that have occurred in the economic analysis of problematic issues such as economic growth, income distribution, employment, inflation, business cycles and financial instability. Each Handbook can be read individually and acts as a self-contained volume in its own right. It can be purchased separately or as part of a three-volume set.
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Chapter 32: Population

Claudia Sunna


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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