The Population Debate in Historical Perspective: Revisionism Revised

Allen C. Kelley

in Population Matters

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244072
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191595974 | DOI:
 The Population Debate in Historical Perspective: Revisionism Revised

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This chapter explores the key aspects of the population debate that have influenced the dominance of population revisionism among scholars in the United States since the 1950s. It reviews four benchmark studies: the 1953 and 1973 United Nations Reports on The Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends, and the 1971 and 1986 National Academy of Sciences Reports. Insights on the reasons for the apparent ebb and flow of ideas centres on three hypotheses: swings in the relative number of economists in relation to other scholars participating in the populations assessments, the stimulus of Julian L. Simon’s The Ultimate Resource in 1981, and the impact of accumulated empirical evidence from the 1970s and early 1990s.

Keywords: population revisionism; United States; population growth; economic development

Chapter.  15219 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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