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Allowing fertility decline: 200 years after Malthus's essay on population.


Currently, fertility rates are declining or are already low in most countries.(1) The economic opportunity model presented herein predicts that this trend will continue because it is a response to real economic and environmental signs. The fertility decline can be delayed by either lavish foreign aid or attractive migration opportunities, because these harbingers of opportunity neutralize local signals of scarcity.

Well-meaning environmentalists regard explosive population growth as an enduring dilemma. The frequent target of interventions to stop population growth is the total fertility rate (TFR), an estimate of the number of children to be born to a woman over her lifetime. Here, I propose an economic opportunity model of fertility, to explain why fertility rates rise or fall. This model puts much new data in perspective.

The economic opportunity model holds that a sense of environmental and economic limits motivates couples to prefer and plan small families. The positive, motivational role for perceived limits may appear to fly in the face of both humanitarian goals for world-wide improvement in the standard of living and the neoclassical value system which equates growth with well-being. The model also raises the concern that it is coercive to let hardship influence behavior. Thus, I pose two questions. First, is the economic opportunity model of fertility empirically correct? Assuming yes, is the process coercive?

A few words about coercion (words uninformed by legal precedent, I admit) may suffice to show that coercion does not apply to the operation of the economic opportunity model of fertility. Certain conditions must exist to create a coercive situation. To be coercive, a person or institution or the agent thereof (the first party) must make the target of behavior modification (the second party) aware of a specific link between his or her behavior and a reward or punishment controlled by the first party. If this link is not explicitly communicated and controlled by those desiring a particular behavioral outcome, coercion cannot exist. Acts of silence or omission, in and of themselves, are therefore not coercive. Complex environmental and economic processes also cannot be coercive. It follows that feedback from environmental and economic circumstances is not coercive.(2) While not coercive, signals from the economy and environment are, nevertheless, powerful motivators. Often they are effective inducements to act in a particular way. I turn now to their effect on fertility.

The weight of expert opinion is on the side of choice and motivation, rather than contraceptive availability, as the key to family side.(3) World Bank analyst Lant Pritchett asserts that the number of children wanted explains 85-90% of the variance in family side.(4) However, a highly divisive but fundamental question remains: exactly what factors and incentives cause families to prefer a large, or small, number of children?

Demographic transition theory (DTT) tells policymakers that economic development, low infant mortality, and education cause a preference for small family size. But this causal explanation arose from correlational data from the 1930s and reflected fertility during a period when western countries were sunk in economic depression. It has little other basis and has been contradicted by in-depth historical studies.(5) Moreover, accumulating data suggests that DTT variables have uncertain power to predict or cause fertility decline.(6) Nevertheless, DTT has been used to rationalize international programs designed to assist Third World development, an enterprise assumed to be not only humanitarian, but also effective for reducing fertility.

I propose a different and much simpler explanation of family size preferences. The premise is that children are desirable among all peoples. It is no large leap to the hypothesis that families ordinarily want as many children as they believe they can successfully raise.

Standards for success and opportunity vary across cultures and socioeconomic sectors; therefore, the following two causal principles of the economic opportunity model are phrased in terms of subjective perception. One, a sense of expanding opportunity causes families to raise their family size target; this usually results in larger actual family size. Two, a perception of scarcity, limits, or contracting opportunity leads to marital and reproductive caution, i.e., smaller family size.(7)

The economic opportunity model of fertility suggests policies which are often diametrically opposed to those prescribed by demographic transition theory. For example, DTT is congruent with generous immigration policies and international economic development aid. But the economic opportunity model suggests that this open-handedness is often problematic, sending the message abroad that local constraints can be discounted because international wealth is abundant and opportunity is beckoning. If people believe that negative signals coming from their own environment and economy can be safely ignored, incentives to exercise marital and reproductive caution are overwhelmed.


Population experts compete for credit whenever fertility declines, but the field trying to account for fertility increases is nearly empty. A sound theory should explain and predict change in either direction, as the economic opportunity model does.

The following summaries of recent studies show that perceptions of a changing opportunity structure precede fluctuations in fertility and support the economic opportunity model. The data includes controlled natural experiments which, in the social sciences, are often the only feasible approximation to hypothesis testing.

A. Controlled Comparisons

Control for cultural variables is achieved by focusing within one geographic area, particularly where societies have common religious or historical roots. These conditions are met within the Arabic-speaking, Muslim countries of the Middle East. Thus, comparisons among these countries provide strong tests of the demographic transition model and, alternately, the economic opportunity model.

For instance, comparing Egypt with Morocco, Youssef Courbage declares that the DTT model predicts a faster fertility decline in Egypt than in Morocco. Courbage notes that considering

land, economic indicators, standard of living, overall education, female

education, gender inequity in education, and child labor-one would predict

that Morocco would be at a disadvantage with respect to fertility decline.

And yet the fertility decline in Morocco has been faster and more

sustained than in Egypt.(8)

Courbage also points out that since the mid-1970s, "Egyptian economic growth has been particularly rapid without bringing down fertility, while in Morocco slow economic growth and a decrease in fertility have gone hand in hand."(9) Drawing a conclusion congruent with the economic opportunity model, Courbage finds that Morocco was propelled into rapidly declining fertility by an export bust. Whereas phosphate exports were a source of wealth which had allowed the government to subsidize household consumption in the years since independence, a 47% drop in phosphate prices between 1975 and 1976 permanently changed that prospect.(10) Courbage suggests that the sudden reversal of the economic and fiscal condition of Moroccan households caused

the sharp drop in fertility, which diminished by 20% from 7.3 to 5.9

children in just four years. Moroccan families instantly faced an

unprecedented situation, in which most educational, social, health,

and military expenditures had to be based on their own personal budgets

rather than on the windfall profits of the state ... [T]he year

1975 marks a clear turning point in Moroccan demography, precisely

as a result of changing financial relations between state and citizens.(11)

Egypt, on the contrary, enjoyed a much longer euphoric interlude. Phillipe Fargues explains that the Egyptian fertility decline, although it began early, was interrupted by President Sadat's 1973 to 1985 Open-Door Policy.

New wealth originating from outside poured into the country: mass

emigration to Arab oil countries brought Egypt remittances amounting

to more than $5 billion a year, and the flow of American money, as

a reward for the Camp David peace accords, made Egypt the leading

recipient of U.S. aid after Israel. At the household level, this

entailed a substantial increase in the standard of living.(12)

Educational levels, health care, and housing quality rose substantially in these years. The DTT model predicts declining fertility; the economic opportunity model predicts rising fertility. Between 1973 and 1985, the fertility rate rose from 5.0 to 6.5 births per woman.(13) Turning to a third Near Eastern country, Algeria, Fargues notes that the fertility decline was "hardly perceptible until the mid-1980s .... This could have been partly attributable to the relative welfare provided by oil and gas exports."(14) Before 1985, the state had shouldered much of the costs of children. But subsequent to the collapse of oil and gas incomes beginning in 1983, "the TFR [total fertility rate] lost 1.5 points, falling from 6.24 in 1985 to 4.72 in 1989."(15) This data for Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria corresponds to the results predicted by the economic opportunity model.

B. Sectoral Analysis

Comparing groups or sectors within a society also allows controlled testing. A natural experiment presents itself when conditions of disappointment or windfalls of opportunity strike differentially at groups within a society. At such times, one expects that group fertility rates will diverge. If (as postulated by the economic opportunity model) perception of diminishing opportunity promotes reproductive caution, a sector whose status and economic power were under siege would be expected to manifest steeply declining fertility. Indeed, diverging fertility rates were observed by Govindasamy and DaVanzo as they traced the fertility trajectories of three main ethnic groups in Malaysia: the Malays (rural and mostly uneducated at the start of the study period and representing 58% of the 1988 population), the Chinese (economically dominant and representing 32% of the 1988 population), and the Indians (10% of the 1988 population).(16) After the World War II baby boom, the national fertility rate declined in all three groups, although not uniformly.(17) The Malay fertility rate leveled off in the mid-1970s, while the Chinese and Indian rates continued to decline.(18)

Events after the British exit from Malaysia in 1957 suggest that differential access to government subsidized resources affected group fertility rates just as predicted by the economic opportunity model. The Constitution, which was implemented following Malaysia's independence, reaffirmed "the `special position of the Malays,'. . . by reserving for them four-fifths of all jobs in the civil service, three-fourths of university scholarships and training programs offered by the federal government, and a majority of license permits for the operation of trade and business."(19) The Malays gained at the expense of the Indians and Chinese; many Chinese fled to Singapore in the early 1960s after race riots and the switch from English to Malay as the official language.(20)

In 1965, Singapore became a separate, Chinese-controlled political entity while in Malaysia, goals embodied in the New Economic Policy (NEP) for 1971 to 1990 further empowered Malays at the expense of Malaysian Indians and Chinese. Malay became the official medium of instruction at all levels of education, over 95% of scholarships for overseas study went to Malays, and competency in Malay became a criteria for graduation and civil service jobs.(21) Moreover, "Constitutional Amendments passed in 1971 deemed seditious the discussion of topics related to the power and status of Malay rulers, Malay special privileges, and matters pertaining to citizenship rights . . . ."(22)

The fertility trends match these reversals in fortune and prospects after independence and indicate support for the economic opportunity model. The Indian total fertility rate declined steadily from nearly eight children per woman in 1957 to about three in 1987. The Chinese rate dropped from more than seven children per woman to 2.5 children. But the Malay rate, initially lower, declined only minimally from just over six to somewhat under five children per woman.(23) Malay fertility fluctuated within this narrow range, even spiking, possibly as a response to religious pronatalism, but certainly congruent with economic policies which privileged the Malays. Govindasamy and DaVanzo suggest that:

[s]ince the NEP created avenues for upward mobility exclusively for Malays,

it increased the relative deprivation of Chinese and Indians and may have

increased anxieties associated with the potentially reduced opportunities

for their children's educational achievement and employment. Such fears may

have lowered desired family size among these minority ethnic groups.(24)

The authors' hypothesis is consonant with the economic opportunity model: a sense of diminishing opportunity promotes reproductive caution; a perception of expanding opportunity lets people raise or maintain high family size targets.

Another example that sectors within a society experience economic developments differently and therefore adopt different fertility goals is the United States. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal read, "Older, More Educated Couples with Money Feel Two Kids are No Longer Enough," and pointed out that "[i]n 1980, 22% of third births to women in their forties were to college graduates, according to the government's National Center for Health Statistics. By 1993, that had shot up to 40%."(25) One may see in this, together with the facts that 23% of Americans are college educated and only the upper 20% of American families have increased their real disposal income in the last few years--so that both the absolute and relative positions of the college-educated has improved--a further suggestion that higher fertility follows perception of expanding economic opportunity.

C. Chronological Studies

Market economics and political evolution are but two sources of perceived shifts in the opportunity structure. Expectations of better times come from any number of conditions including, for example, new technology, frontiers, colonization or migration toward lands where opportunity is relatively greater, emigration which relieves population pressure in the source region, higher real wages, or a successful populist revolution. Each category has been discussed in past publications,(26) and the following are only a small selection.

China provides an example of the variety of sources of perceived shifts in opportunity. In China, rising fertility and declining mortality both contributed to sudden population growth in the decades after World War II. These years saw the Communists pressing a military advance, culminating in the expulsion of the Nationalist government in 1949. In the following ten year period, the mainland Chinese population grew from an estimated 559 million to 654 million (a 17% increase). For comparison, note that the average population growth rate of the preceding century had been just 0.3% a year.(27)

Judith Banister observed that "[f]ertility began rising in the late 1940s, and was near or above six births per woman during the years 1952 to 1957, higher fertility than had been customary in the decades prior to 1949."(28) Banister attributes China's baby boom to the end of World War II and a new Communist government policy: "[T]he land reform of 1950-51 redistributed land to landless peasants and tenant farmers, perhaps triggering the idea that they needed more family laborers to work the land and that they would be able to feed more children from their newly acquired land."(29) Until 1979, mainland China farm families continued to be awarded extra land and grain allotments for each birth, and other rations (oil, sugar, meat) also were distributed on a per capita basis. When the unintended, pro-natalist effect of these well-meant redistributionist policies became suspect, all, except for extra land allotted for a first birth, ended.(30)

Similarly, a successful populist revolution preceded a baby boom in Cuba. Fidel Castro succeeded Fulgencio, Batista in 1959, promising to redistribute wealth to ordinary people. Fertility soon shot from moderate to significantly higher levels. Diaz-Briquets and Perez say the explanation of the fertility increase is

straightforward . . . . The main factor was the real income rise among the

most disadvantaged groups brought about by the redistribution measures

of the revolutionary government. The fertility increases in almost every

age group suggest that couples viewed the future as more promising and felt

they could now afford more children.(31)

The United States is no exception to the phenomenon of fertility responding to economic opportunity. In the earliest of American experiences, the wealth of virgin lands probably accounted for the much higher fertility rates of the colonists compared to their relatives in their home countries. Richard Easterlin has shown a continuing effect from the availability of cheap land during the settlement phase in America; fertility was high in every frontier area, then declined gradually as the land was taken up.(32) Easterlin asserts that fertility declined as land became more expensive regardless of the degree of industrialization.(33) Similarly, Brian Berry states that the high fertility of the original settlers resulted from women's early and nearly universal marriage, choices which reflected "the ease with which young couples could acquire land and set up farms."(34)

Fluctuation occurred, however, within this high fertility regimen. Fertility declined sharply each time colonial export earnings were interrupted by political or economic events in England. The first decline occurred in 1642, and then "again during the 1680s . . . as both the British and colonial economies sagged toward the financial crisis of the 1690s."(35) Berry summarized his analysis of colonial Concord's pre-industrial period as "bad times of plummeting commodity prices and falling real incomes [which] came in the 1640s, the 1690s, the 1740s, and the 1790s, and [were] clearly identifiable in the Concord birth record."(36)

The United States fertility rate continues to respond to economic signals. Easterlin has shown that the 1947 to 1962 baby boom in the United States occurred during a period of rapid economic expansion and very limited labor supply, which drove up wages in entry-level positions.(37) The good wages, job security, and rapid promotion made single-family houses newly affordable. This had the effect of accelerating marriage plans and childbearing.(38)

The baby boom ended in about 1962 when the job pipelines began to clog and competition for entry-level positions increased. The native-born white population registered its lowest fertility rates to date in 1975 to 1978, years when an economic slowdown (possibly caused by a mix of soaring oil prices and inflation) pushed the economy off its historic growth trajectory of 3% per annum to a modest 1% per annum.(39)

These latter examples show that fertility can and does rise, even in modern times and in industrialized societies. Moreover, it fluctuates with the perception of opportunity. One cannot rule out the possibility that other factors could be at work; in any naturalistic situation, effects can be difficult to analyze, but the correspondence between fertility and opportunity perception clearly supports the economic opportunity model.

Recalling that the economic opportunity model predicts that a sense of limits or contracting opportunity causes a decline in wanted and actual fertility, and noting that shrinking opportunities are a highly visible occurrence in many contemporary societies, one should not be surprised at declining fertility rates on almost every continent. Fertility has declined in places where neither modern contraception nor the demographic transition model can account for the trend, such as Sudan, Burma, and Bangladesh, and historically in Yap, Tikopia, and many other pre-modern, but now industrialized, countries.(40) The decline occurs when ordinary people experience a threat to their livelihood or accustomed quality of life.

There is an unusual consensus regarding explanations of steeply declining fertility in Russia and former Eastern Bloc countries. Economic restructuring, widespread unemployment, the dissipation of government consumption subsidies, and public perception of rising infant mortality rates are seen as causes of lower fertility rates and rising demand to terminate or avoid pregnancy.(41) Most startling is the fertility bust seen after the demise of communism in East Germany. The economic shock of reunification into one Germany--and the end of outright socialism--produced immense unemployment and new economic insecurity.(42) The severest part of a 50% fertility decline over five years was a massive 45% fertility decline from 1991 to 1992, resulting in a 1994 fertility rate of 0.77 births per woman in East Germany.(43) Christoph Conrad attributes the fertility decline to economic collapse.(44)

Among other developing countries where fertility has declined, Nigeria is one where highly respected demographers have attributed the trend to the DTT model.(45) Their data, however, paints a more complex picture, because five years of a faltering economy, diminishing international aid, and widespread disappointment preceded the new trends of delayed marriage and the increased use of modern contraception.(46) Thus, one can argue that the perception of worsening prospects, as in reunified Germany, motivated Nigerian couples to avoid pregnancy:

Most of the respondents believed that child mortality had risen over the

previous five years of economic difficulty. . . . Two thirds of all

respondents claimed that the major force behind marriage postponement and

the use of contraception to achieve it was the present hard economic

conditions . . . .(47)

The respondents linked their wish to avoid childbearing to hard times and a rising risk of child mortality. In contrast, the previous decades of economic growth with better education and declining mortality had produced negligible interest in family planning.

Notwithstanding this data, authors Caldwell and others remain proponents of the DTT model. Caldwell tacitly admits that DTT proponents rationalize their own data in order to conclude that modernization underlies the Nigerian fertility decline:

The most difficult issue is the role of the present economic crisis in

affecting fertility change. The predominance of childbearing and marriage

deferral and of birth spacing in the demand for contraception in Ado-Ekiti

suggests that it is education and the rise of the modern economy which

underlie the rising demand. Nevertheless, most contraceptors say that an

important factor in their practice is the hard economic times.(48)

Is this a satisfactory explanation? Do marriage deferral and birth spacing await education and the rise of the modern economy? Moni Nag and others have documented the existence of fertility control in premodern nonindustrial societies where it is independent of education.(49) Moreover, marriage deferral was the principal means by which preindustrial Europe maintained stable, or slowly growing, populations. In many countries, suggests Etienne Van de Walle, "the combined result of the age at marriage and the proportion who never married ... [limited] to 35% to 40% the proportion of women of fecund age that were married."(50) Further, "[e]conomic conditions--depression and prosperity, drought and good harvests--affected the number of births by influencing the number of marriages."(51) Adds Paul Demeny, "[i]t has always been recognized that control of fertility through the classic Malthusian method--restriction of marriage--is practiced in all societies, but at greatly differing degrees."(52)

Many of the elements discussed above are joined in demographic and journalistic analyses of Haiti. Demographers Jean-Pierre Guengant and John May observed that Haitian fertility approximated 5.5 children per woman in the mid-1970s and climbed past 6.3 in the early 1980s to "7.0 enfants par femme pour les six premiers mois de 1987" (7.0 children per woman in the first six months of 1987).(53) This fertility increase has been attributed to an interruption in family planning programs and, by Guengant and May, to a higher rate of family formation and increasing family stability in the late 1980s, although they did not specify the underlying causal conditions. However, one might plausibly relate higher rates of family formation and stability to promising economic and political factors in Haiti, such as $1 billion in aid given by the United States, the World Bank, and a number of international lending agencies during the 1980s,(54) the 1986 departure from Haiti of Baby Doe (the last of the tyrannical Duvalier family),(55) and the accelerating emigration which both relieved competition for resources within Haiti and resulted in a continuing stream of cash remittances (one of five native-born Haitians lives abroad).(56) Haitians' reliance on others suggests that they could easily base family size decisions on such signs as the generosity of foreign aid and the ease of emigration.

The notoriously labile Haitian fertility rates are further explained if their cue is the shifting policies of the United States. The 1992 flotillas to Florida were briefly accepted, then either interned or turned back to Haiti by President George Bush.(57) In 1992, President Bill Clinton campaigned on a promise to accept asylum seekers but, immediately upon taking office in 1993, reinstated his predecessor's policy.(58) The U.S.-assisted deliverance from General Cedras and installment of President Aristede in 1994 along with the year-long presence of American troops may have signaled renewed cash flows from America to Haiti. But as it became clear that the U.S. troops would eventually leave Haiti and incoming aid was minimal relative to the extreme poverty while would-be U.S. immigrants were turned back, the total fertility rate sank to 4.8 births per woman.(59)

As in Haiti, Rwandan birth rates also appear to have been affected by political change. Independence from Belgium in 1962 and official policies, which included the dispersal of people to virgin agricultural lands and into neighboring countries, apparently kicked Rwandan population growth onto a higher trajectory. John May suggests that the liberation from spatial constraints gave these emigrants a sense of fresh opportunity, which raised family size targets. Indeed, the Rwandan fertility rate rose to 8.6 births per woman in 1987.(60) By the mid-1980s, however, expansionist programs had run their course.(61) Moreover, foreign aid shifted from subsidizing consumption to family planning.(62) By 1994 the birthrate had declined to an estimated 6.2 births per woman.(63)

A localized reversal in the fertility rate occurred in 1996 as Hutu refugees from Rwanda made themselves at home in the formerly pristine savanna around Benaco Camp, Tanzania. International aid provided this camp with food, education programs, and healthcare, and "everyday, refugees help[ed] themselves to 60 tons of firewood from the savannah and poach[ed] 100 animals."(64) In this protected environment, 250,000 Hutus had 1500 babies per month, an annual rate of 60 per 1000, representing a fertility increase that is one of the highest in the world.(65)

Other links between economic conditions and the fluctuation of fertility rates within single societies are documented in Ronald D. Lee's analysis of pre-industrial England. Lee showed that a change in real wages regularly caused a lagged, positive (same directional) response in marital and fertility rates:

[S]eparate cross spectra for each of the periods 1539-1638, 1639-1745, and

1746-1839 [indicate] virtually identical results within each subperiod. This

establishes the existence of a procyclical response of marital fertility to

wages as far back as the sixteenth century, with no noticeable change in the

timing or sensitivity of the relationship.... [B]oth marital fertility and

nuptiality were strongly influenced by short-run variations in the real

wage, which explained about 20% to 30% of their short-run variance. I have

also analyzed the relation of wages to the rate of natural increase....

[N]ote that a doubling of the real wage would increase the population

growth rate by about 1.25% per year, ceteris paribus.(66)

Lee wondered why his findings, which indicated a Malthusian effect on fertility and (albeit less robustly) on mortality, and similar results "confirmed for other countries and other periods" have had so small an influence on human demography.(67) It is a good question that remains unanswered.


In evaluating models, the reader might keep in mind the following: 1) correlations do not establish causality, 2) a theory should account for either upward or downward movement in the dependent variable here, (the fertility rate), and 3) tests of causal relationships require, as a minimum, that the supposed cause be temporally prior to the supposed effect. These three threshold tests are met in the examples offered here and elsewhere, and they may be considered, if not proof, at least strong support for the economic opportunity model.

Nevertheless, the economic opportunity explanation of fertility has not swept demographic circles. Perhaps the answer lies in most of us wishing to be active in doing good, whereas the economic opportunity model demands a waiting game. It counsels to let people perceive, then believe, that rescue will not happen, that a better life depends upon reproductive restraint and not upon international rescue or a foreign welcome mat for an impoverished country's excess numbers.

Help should be effectively channeled. The economic opportunity model supports micro-loans to individuals that amount to a small leg-up toward productive work and do not falsely raise expectations of a windfall. Assistance with family planning is another useful program because it helps interested families to humanely implement a dependent limiting, saving, capital accumulation strategy which raises family well-being over the long run.

In sum, interventions which give the appearance of international responsibility for improving conditions should be avoided because they encourage disregard of local signs of environmental and economic stress. The result of open-handed immigration and foreign assistance policies is almost sure to be continuing high fertility, so our well-meant policies are not, in fact, a kindness. Only if interventions avoid misleading promises of rescue can one proceed with confidence that worldwide fertility will swiftly fall.

(1) Nicholas Eberstadt, The Population Implosion, Wall St. J., Oct. 16, 1997, available in 1997 WL-WSJ 14170156.

(2) The following are examples of coercive acts: the government tells medically indigent potential mothers that they will receive $160 monthly if they have a surviving child; the government lets upper income potential mothers know that they will receive a $500 tax credit annually if they have a surviving child; the government offers $100 monthly to Depo-Provera (contraceptive implant) acceptors.

The following are examples of non-coercive situations: a young man decides to postpone marriage because he fears losing his job; a couple wins the lottery and decides they can now afford another baby.

The question is unresolved whether it is coercive to withhold incentives from those accustomed to receiving them. I think not, because it returns one to the condition of weighing possible outcomes in the absence of coercion such as illustrated above, i.e., contingent rewards.

(3) John C. Caldwell, et al., Fertility Decline in Africa: A New Type of Transition?, 18 Population and Dev. Rev. 211 (1992) [hereinafter Fertility Decline in Africa]; Paul Demeny, Early Fertility Decline in Austria-Hungary: A Lesson in Demographic Transition, 97 Daedalus 502, 509-22 (1968); Paul Demeny, Social Science and Population Policy, 14 Population and Dev. Rev. 451, 455-72 (1988); Malcolm Potts, Sex and the Birth Rate: Human Biology, Demographic Change, and Access to Fertility-Regulation Methods, 23 Populations and Dev. Rev. 1 (1997); Charles F. Westoff, Is the Kap-Gap Real?, 14 Population and Dev. Rev. 225 (1988).

(4) Lant A. Pritchett, Desired Fertility and the Impact of Population Policies, 20 Population and Dev. Rev. 1 (1994).

(5) See, e.g., Catherine Rollet-Echalier, La Politique A L'egard De La Petite Enfrance Sous LA Iiie Republique (1990); John E. Knodel, The Decline of Fertility in Germany, 1871-1939 (1974).

(6) See John B. Wyon & John E. Gordon, The Khanna Study: Population Problems in the Rural Punjab (1971); Maurice King, Health is a Sustainable State, 336 Lancet 664-67 (1990).

(7) See Virginia D. Abernethy, Population Pressure and Cultural Adjustment (1979) [hereinafter Population Pressure and Cultural Adjustment]: Virginia D. Abernethy, Population Politics (1993) [hereinafter Population Politics].

(8) Youssef Courbage, Fertility Transition in the Mashriq and Maghrib, in Family, Gender, and Population in the Middle East 87 (Carla M. Obermeyer ed., 1995) (emphasis added).

(9) Id. at 85.

(10) Id. at 88-89.

(11) Id. at 89.

(12) Phillipe Fargues, Changing Hierarchies of Gender and Generation in the Arab World, in Family, Gender, and Population in the Middle East 183 (Carla M. Obermeyer ed., 1995). 13 Id.

(14) Id. at 182.

(15) Id. at 183.

(16) Paralavalli Govindasamy & Julie DaVanzo, Ethnicity and Fertility Differentials in Peninsular Malaysia: Do Policies Matter?, 18 Population and Dev. Rev. 243 (1992).

(17) Id.

(18) Id.

(19) Id. at 246-47.

(20) Id. at 247.

(21) Id. at 248.

(22) Id. at 249.

(23) Id. at 244, fig. 1.

(24) Id. at 250.

(25) Robin G. Blumenthal, Midlife Brooding: Some Parents Find Third Time a Charm, Wall St. J., Mar. 29, 1996, at Al, available in 1996 WL-WSJ 3096664.

(26) Population Pressure and Cultural Adjustment, supra note 7; Population Politics, supra note 7; Virginia Abernethy, Optimism and Overpopulation, Atlantic Monthly, Dec. 1994, at 84.

(27) Judith Banister, China's Changing Population 3 (1987).

(28) Id. at 233.

(29) Id.

(30) Id. at 129.

(31) S. Diaz-Briquets & L. Perez, Cuba: The Demography of Revolution 15 (1981).

(32) Richard A. Easterlin, Does Human Fertility Adjust to the Environment?, Am. Econ. Rev., May 1971, at 399.

(33) Id.

(34) Brian J. L. Berry, From Malthusian Frontier to Demographic Steady State: The Concordian Birth Rate 1635-1993, 22 Population and Dev. Rev. 208 (1996).

(35) Id. at 213.

(36) Id. at 215.

(37) See National Bureau of Econ. Research, The American Baby Boom in Historical Perspective, Occasional Paper #79 (1962).

(38) Id.

(39) Fertility Decline in Africa, supra note 3, at 229.

(40) See, e.g., Population Pressure and Cultural Adjustment, supra note 7, at 101; Population Politics, supra note 7, at 45-46.

(41) See Carl Haub, Population Change in the Former Soviet Republics, Population Bull., Dec. 1994, at 1, 49; Cristoph Conrad et al., East German Fertility After Unification: Crisis or Adaptation?, 22 Population and Dev. Rev. 331 (1996).

(42) Conrad et al., supra, note 41, at 331.

(43) Id.

(44) Id. at 337.

(45) Fertility Decline in Africa, supra note 3, at 229.

(46) Id.

(47) Id.

(48) Id. at 236-37.

(49) See Moni Nag, Factors Affecting Human Fertility in Nonindustrial Societies: A Cross-Cultural Study, in Yale University Publications in Anthropology (1968); Emilio F. Moran, Human Adaptive Strategies in Amazonian Blackwater Ecosystems, 93 Am. Anthropologist 361 (1991).

(50) Etienne Van de Walle, Marriage and Marital Fertility, 97 Daedalus 486, 488 (1968).

(51) Id. at 488.

(52) Paul Demeny, Early Fertility Decline in Austria-Hungary: A Lesson in Demographic Transition, 97 Daedalus 502, 513 (1968).

(53) Jean-Pierre Guengant & John F. May, Tendances de la Fecondite en Haiti, 21 Cahiers Quebecois de Demographic 170 (1992).

(54) Helene Cooper, Carving Out a New Road, Wall St. J., Nov. 4, 1994, available in 1994 WL-WSJ 2053491.

(55) Kenneth Freed, Haitians: Hopes Riding on Boats, New President, Pittsburgh Trib. Rev., Nov. 26, 1992, at 1.

(56) Id.

(57) Id.

(58) Id.

(59) Id.

(60) John May, Policies on Population, Land Use, and Environment in Rwanda, 16 Population and Env't 321, 322 tbl. 1 (1995).

(61) Id. at 328-30.

(62) Id. at 329-30.

(63) Id. at 330.

(64) Rwandan Refugees Put Down Roots, Pittsburgh Trib. Rev., June 9, 1996, at A14.

(65) Id.

(66) Ronald Lee, A Historical Perspective on Economic Aspects of the Population Explosion: The Case of Pre-Industrial England, in Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries 517-56 (1980).

(67) Ronald Lee, Population Dynamics of Humans and Other Animals, 24 Demography 443, 450 (1987). Lee cites the work of T. Richards, Weather, Nutrition, and the Economy: Short-Run Fluctuations in Births, Deaths and Marriages, France 1740-1909, 20 Demography 197-212 (1983), D. Weir, Life Under Pressure. France and England, 1670-1870, 44 J. of Econ. Hist. 2747 (1984), T.P. Schultz, Short-Term Changes in Economic and Demographic Variables: Comparisons of Preindustrial English and Swedish Time Series Using Alternative Statistical Frameworks (9th Int'l Econ. History Conference, Bern, Switzerland, 1986), and P.R. Galloway, Longterm Fluctuations in Climate and Population in the Preindustrial Era, 12 Population and Dev. Rev. 1-24 (1986) as results that have yet to have an influence on human demography.

Virginia Deane Abernethy, Virginia Abernethy, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry (Anthropology) at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the author of Population Politics: The Choices that Shape Our Future (1993), and the editor of the bi-monthly journal, Population and Environment. Dr. Abernethy was educated at Wellesley College, Vanderbilt University (M.B.A. 1981) and Harvard University (M.A. 1968 and Ph.D. 1970).
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Title Annotation:Symposium on Population Law
Author:Abernethy, Virginia Deane
Publication:Environmental Law
Date:Dec 22, 1997
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