Homage to malthus, Ricardo, and boserup: Toward a general theory of population, economic growth, environmental deterioration, wealth, and poverty

Abstract
The debates over the future of human population and the earth’s environment, and similar large issues, usually take place without reference to explicit models. Debate would be clarified if such models were employed. We propose that the logistic equation and its extensions like the generalized logistic and the Lotka-Volterra equations, so familiar to ecologists, can easily be modified to model the important "macro" questions that motivated the three thinkers of our title. The long term rate of population growth must normally be controlled by the rate of improvement in K, the carrying capacity of the earth. K will in turn be controlled by the rate of technological progress. The present situation, in which technological improvement (but also perhaps environmental deterioration) are increasing at rates above r, the Malthusian intrinsic rate of natural increase, is probably unique in human history. Can present levels of human prosperity and population growth be sustained? What processes are most likely to determine the answer to this and similar questions? We here sketch a model that endogenizes technological progress and environmental deterioration in the logistic framework. We discuss extensions of the logistic approach to multiple populations, such as other species, and sub-populations, such as human social classes, using the Lotka-Volterra equations.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    6 ( #162,810 of 1,088,426 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,426 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.