Youth Cohorts, Population Growth and Political Outcomes

Wriggins, H. (1989). Youth Cohorts, Population Growth and Political Outcomes. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-89-043

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This working paper, written by a distinguished political scientist of Columbia University, was presented at a IIASA conference in Sopron, Hungary, October 18-21, 1988. It has been the subject of correspondence with us at IIASA since and has been extensively revised. As it stands it represents as good thought as is now available on a vitally important subject: the politics of youth. The restlessness of youth has been long talked about but the present demographic conjuncture gives it special saliency.

In most of the more developed countries (MDCs) the postwar baby boom led to large numbers of youth -- large in relation to the older population of the time -- during the late 1960s, and this demographic fact coincided with an explosion of protest around the world. In due course that explosion was contained, and most of the youth in question settled into middle class jobs. Only in countries of exceptionally rigid labor markets is there a residue of youth unable to insert itself into stable employment.

For the less developed countries (LDCs) the baby boom has been later, and was due more to the fall in death rates, especially infant mortality, than to a rise in births. In fact birth rates did rise in some places; elsewhere they remained constant or fell, but not enough to offset the fall in deaths. Youth cohorts of the LDCs at the present time are even larger in relation to the numbers of their elders than they were in the MDCs in the late 1960s.

Howard Wriggins writes from his knowledge of a number of Asian and African countries, showing the political effect of large youth cohorts, in the context of multi-cultural societies, with newly raised standards of education, where economic progress is indeed occurring but not fast enough to satisfy aspirations.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:59
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:13

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