Week Three: Contemporary Views
Geoffrey McNicoll. 1998. Malthus for the twenty-first century.
- According to McNicoll, how would Malthus have judged a society with a shrinking population? Does this make him a populationist, or not?
- What is it about welfare and other anti-poverty programs that McNicoll says Malthus didn't like? Was he "flint-hearted" about the poor?
- Environmental damage and limits often motivate population debates today--was Malthus also concerned about these issues? Explain his position.
James Lee & Wang Feng. 1999. Malthusian models and Chinese realities: the Chinese demographic system 1700-2000.
- What pattern of positive versus preventive checks did Malthus think operated in China? What do Lee and Wang think was wrong with his picture of that country?
- For Lee and Wang, how did China and the West differ historically in relying on late marriage versus fertility control within marriage to control population?