Ecology and the Crisis of Overpopulation

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Ecology and the Crisis of Overpopulation

Future Prospects for Global Sustainability

9781858984636 Edward Elgar Publishing
Anup Shah, Lecturer in Economics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Publication Date: 1998 ISBN: 978 1 85898 463 6 Extent: 192 pp
Current population growth is leading to a depletion in natural resources and could eventually cause irreversible damage to the environment. This book attempts to explain trends in the growth of the global population and the ecological consequences by blending the insights of analytical economics and behavioural ecology.

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Contents
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Current population growth is leading to a depletion in natural resources and could eventually cause irreversible damage to the environment. This book attempts to explain trends in the growth of the global population and the ecological consequences by blending the insights of analytical economics and behavioural ecology.

The book begins by looking at population from a long term perspective and considers the ecological influences before going on to examine the economics of population growth. Reproduction decisions of the family are then analysed, and the welfare effect of these decisions on society as a whole are considered. Anup Shah pays particular attention to policies which could try to prevent or cure overpopulation. He asks whether there is a case for intervening in order to prevent overpopulation, and suggests that one way of reducing the effects of population growth is through technological advances which can help compensate for the adverse external effects. Finally, he examines the future of urban centres in the light of population growth.

The book is written from a multidisciplinary approach and will have a wide readership throughout the social sciences. It will have particular appeal for economists, geographers, earth scientists, ecologists, environmentalists and those working in the area of development studies.
Critical Acclaim
‘Shah makes clear the need for a discourse on population between biologists and economists. . .’
– Carl N. McDaniel, Environmental Values

‘It is refreshing to read a book about population that treats the subject in a rounded, objective fashion: a fitting tribute to the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Malthus’ Essay on the Principle of Population. Shah marries the fields of ecology and economics to gain a more realistic view of the population question than either discipline is capable of on its own. . . This book really ought to reach a wide audience. . .’
– Place

‘The book should prove useful as a short and accessible introduction to the population growth debate: it brings together the economic and ecological strands and summarises clearly the basic issues.’
– William A. Jackson, The Economic Journal

‘. . . it offers many original insights into the population question and should interest academics and professionals in various disciplines.’
– J.R. McDonald, Choice

‘His knowledge is encyclopaedic and he has one of the clearest and most engaging writing styles I have seen for a very long time. . . . It is unique as a volume because it weaves a good story from both “ancient and modern” theories of population change. Especially attractive is the exposition of recent economic theories of fertility. . . . Thoroughly recommended.’
– David Pearce, University College London, UK
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction Part I: Ecological Analysis 2. The Ecological Foundations of Fertility 3. Moving Down the Eltonian Pyramid Part II: Economic Analysis 4. Malthusian Economics Versus the Demographic Transition 5. The Demographic Transition to Smaller Families 6. The Third World Couple Part III: Normative Analysis 7. Overpopulation 8. Self-regulation of Family Size in a Community 9. Indirect Intervention 10. Direct Intervention Part IV: Wherein lies the Future? 11. An Urban Future 12. Conclusions References

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