Population and Development Review

Cover image for Vol. 43 Issue 3

Edited By: Geoffrey McNicoll and Landis MacKellar; Managing Editor: Rachel Friedman

Impact Factor: 2.792

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 3/26 (Demography); 7/143 (Sociology)

Online ISSN: 1728-4457

Associated Title(s): Studies in Family Planning

Supplement to Population and Development Review 38 (2012)


Population Population and Public Policy: Essays in Honor of Paul Demeny

Table of Contents

Paul Demeny, founding editor of Population and Development Review, relinquished his editorship with Volume 38 in 2012. This collection of essays on population and public policy marks the occasion and celebrates his scholarly career.

The opening essays treat population renewal in affluent societies, the management of intergenerational relations throughout human history, and the sustainability issues confronting the modern welfare state. Another set of contributions is concerned with low fertility and its consequences: the historical experience with low fertility; the puzzles that ultra-low fertility and natural population decrease pose for theorists of human behavior; the relationship between fertility decline and democratization; and the intractable problems for social policy in Japan created by ultra-low fertility and extreme population aging.

Several essays examine the role of public policy in lowering high fertility. In China, policy achievements are seen as attained at high human cost and with long-run ill effects. In Africa a mixed story is recounted: skepticism on government roles in the fertility transition in Algeria; promising recent family planning program outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa; and, for international donors, a gulf between intentions and on-the-ground realities in service delivery.

Three essays present novel insights on natural and human capital and technology. One foresees a reversal of expansion in global cropping area, leaving ever more land for Nature. A second calculates that national wealth owes far more to improvements in human health and to environmental services than to produced capital. And a third draws on the experience of the past eighty years to assert the fundamental unpredictability of social, political, and environmental change and the futility of long-range scenario-building.

A final group of essays concerns theory and data: social change modeled as a cohort succession process; the life expectancy–income relationship in cross-section and over time; the demographic transition among the elderly population as a delayed analogue of the familiar demographic transition; and the possible demise of the centuries-old instrument of data collection that is the population census.

About the Editors
Geoffrey McNicoll is Senior Associate, Population Council and co-editor, Population and Development Review; John Bongaarts is Vice President and Distinguished Scholar, Population Council; and Ethel P. Churchill is Managing Editor, Population and Development Review.

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