The need to reassess the role of the population variable in global development

Lutz, W. (1999). The need to reassess the role of the population variable in global development. Yearbook of Population Research in Finland 35 30-38.

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In the 1970s thinking about the future global population trends and the environment was largely influenced by The Limits to Growth, a report presented at the Club of Rome. It is based on an economic, demographic and environmental simulation model, called World3, which is applied to the world taken as a whole. However, discrepancies have been noted in such a model and modelers have learned many lessons since the application of the model in 1970s. These lessons include the following: that the world is much too heterogeneous to apply the same behavioral equations to different parts of the world; that the model should not be too highly integrated; and that an intersectoral model should also satisfy the sectoral disciplinary concerns. In a probabilistic outlook of future global population growth and aging, uncertainties involved in the calculations of projections are dealt with by presenting the alternative scenarios of unknown probability and the high and low variants in addition to the medium variant. In addition, such an approach is more intensively based on expert judgement and captures the possibilities of Malthusian checks. In conclusion, the author states that the probabilistic method is a more differentiated approach that may contribute to moving further beyond the simplistic controversy surrounding the Malthusian theory.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Demographic factors; Demography; Development plans; Malthusianism; Population; Population dynamics; Population growth; Population theory; Social sciences
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Bibliographic Reference: Yearbook of Population Research in Finland 1998-1999; 35:30-38 (1999)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:10
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:36

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