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On the Cusp – From Population Boom to Bust - Oxford Scholarship Online
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On the Cusp: From Population Boom to Bust

Charles S. Pearson


This book traces world population growth and (prospective) decline using the lens of economic demography. The starting point is the flawed theory of Malthus in 1798; the end point is unknown, but most probably features global aging and depopulation. While the Malthusian overpopulation threat of the post World War II decades has been thwarted, its obverse, fertility rates plunging below replacement level, creates new challenges. From too many to too few? The upside of depopulation is less stress on environmental resources; the downside may be a loss of economic vitality. Moreover, population de ... More

Keywords: Malthus, depopulation, overpopulation, aging, economic demography, generational bargain, demographic transition, optimal population, fertility, de-growth

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780190223915
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190223915.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Charles S. Pearson, author
Professor Emeritus, International Economics, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC