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close this bookTaking Population Seriously (FF, 1990, 87 p.)
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View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentThe population puzzle
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Open this folder and view contentsA power-structures perspective
Open this folder and view contentsThe debate about solutions
Open this folder and view contentsReflections and implications for action
View the documentNotes


1. Michael S. Teitelbaum, "Relevance of Demographic Transition Theory for Developing Countries," Science 188 (2 May 1975): 420-425.

2. UN Fund for Population Activities, 1986 Annual Report (New York: UNFPA, 1986), 7.

3. Personal communication, January 1988. Cutright is with the Department of Sociology, Indiana University, Bloomington.

4. News Release from the Population Reference Bureau, 28 April 1988.

5. Julian Simon, "Resources, Population, Environment: An Oversupply of False Bad News," Science 208 (27 June 1980): 1434. According to Simon, productivity will be raised not only through economies of scale and larger markets, but also through the addition of more people's contributions to knowledge and technical progress. See also Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981 ).

6. Simon, "Resources, Population, Environment," 1434.

7. National Academy of Sciences, Working Group on Population Growth and Economic Development, Population Growth and Economic Development: Policy Questions (Washington: National Academy Press, 1986), 17.

8. Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (NewYork: Ballantine Books, 1968), prologue.

9. William and Paul Paddock, Famine 1975! (Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1967;renamedTimeuJFamines, 1976).

10. Lester R. Brown and Jodi L. Jacobson, "Our Demographically Divided World," Worldwatch Paper no. 74 (Washington: Worldwatch Institute, December 1986), 5.

11. Ibid.

12. Garrett Hardin, "Living on a Lifeboat," BioScience 24 (October 1974): 561-568.

13. View expressed in televised debate with Frances Moore LappJuly 1987.

14. Per capita cropland from Francis Urban and Thomas Vollrath, Patterns and Trends in World Agricultural Land Use, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Foreign Agricultural Economic Report no. 198, Washington, D.C., 1984, table 2, 1984. Life expectancy from World Bank, World Development Report 1985 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), table 1, 174. According to the Kissinger Commission report, off-cially the Report of the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, Washington, D.C., 1984, "57 percent of Honduras' families live in extreme poverty, unable to pay the cost of the basic basket of food."

15. "Children: A Cost to the Rich, A Benefit to the Poor," The New Internationalist (June 1977): 16-17, cited in Morley and Lovel, My Name Is Today, 34. For more detail on this particular study, see Population and Development Review, September 1977.

16. M. T. Cain, "The Economic Activities of Children in a Village in Bangladesh, " Population and Development Review 3 ( 1977 ): 201- 2 28, cited in W. Murdoch, The Poverty of Nations, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980), 26.

17. C. Lwechungura Kamuzora, "High Fertility and the Demand for Labor in Peasant Economies: The Case of Bukoba District, Tanzania," Development and Change 15, no. 1 (January 1984): 105-123.

18. "Hundred Dollar Slaves, " The New Internationalist (October 1986): 9.

19. John C. Caldwell, Theory c-f Fertility Decline (New York: Academic Press, 1982), 37, cited in Betsy Hartmann, Reproductive Rights and Wrongs (New York: Harper and Row, 1987), 7.

20. John Caldwell, Theory of Fertility Decline, 69.

21. M. Nag, B. White, and R. C. Peet, "An Anthropological Approach to the Study of the Economic Value of Children in lava and Nepal," Current Anthropology 19 (1978): 293 306.

22. World Bank, The World Development Report 1984 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), 52.

23. Mead Cain, "Fertility as an Adjustment to Risk," Population and Development Review9, no.4 (December l983): 688-701, especially 699.

24. A recent study of Thailand, for instance, found that large families are increasingly perceived as an economic burden in part because the cost of educating children has risen substantially. See Knodel er al., "Fertility Transition in Thailand: A Qualitative Analysis," Population and Development Review 10, no. 2 (June 1984): 297-328.

25. Thomas Merrick, "Recent Fertility Declines in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico," World Bank Staff Working Paper no. 692 (Washington D.C.: World Bank, 1985).

26. India's Sixth Five Year Plan, 374, cited in Sheila Zurbrigg, Rakku's Story: Studies of III-Health and the Source of Change (Madras: George Joseph Printing Company, 1984), 70.

27. Interview with two women doctors on family planning, Connexions, Summer/Fall 1985, 49.

28. Murdoch, Poverty of Nations, 45.

29. Perdita Huston, Message from the Village (New York: The Epoch B Foundation, 1978), 119, cited in Hartmann, Reproductive Rights and Wrongs, 48.

30. Jodi L. Jacobson, "Planning the Global Family," Worldwatch Paper no. 80, Washington D.C., Worldwatch Institute, December 1987, 20.

31. Ibid., 21.

32. Faruqee and Gulhati, Rapid Population Growth in Sub- Saharian Africa, Issues and Policies, World Bank Staff Working Paper no. 559, Washington D.C., World Bank, 1983, 48-52.

33. Ibid., 54.

34. Sally Mugabe, "High Fertility Hampers Women's Status," Popline (June 1987): 2. Popline is a publication of the World Population News Service.

35. Medea Benjamin, ea., Don't Be Afraid, Gringo: A Honduran Woman Speaks from the Heart (Food First Books, 1987), 47.

36. Huston, Message from the Village, 38.

37. Hartmann, Reproductive Rights and Wrongs, 247-248.

38. Charlene Spretnak in "The Population Bomb: An Explosive Issue for the Environmental Movement," Utne Reader (May/June 1988): 86-87.

39. World Resources Institute, World Resources 1986 (New York: Basic Books, 1986), 21.

40. Betsy Hartmann, personal correspondence, January 1988.

41. Hartmann's Reproductive Rights and Wrongs, as well as chapter 3 of our own Institute's book, World Hunger: Twelve Myths, are only two of the most recent expressions of this attempt to incorporate a gender-based analysis of power within a larger structural framework.

42. Susan George, "Debt: The Profit of Doom," Food First Action Alert, Institute for Food and Development Policy, San Francisco, 1988. See also George, Fate Worse than Debt (New York: Grove Press/Food First Books, 1988).

43. Ralph R. Sell and Steven J. Kunitz, "The Debt Crisis and the End of an Era in Mortality Decline," Studies in Comparative International Develop' meet, 1987, cited in George, Fate Worse than Debt, 134.

44. Alan Riding, "In Northeastern Brazil Poverty Cycle Goes On," New York Times, 3 May 1988, A4.

45. Kevin Danaher, Phillip Berryman, Medea Benjamin, "Help or Hindrance: United States Economic Aid in Central America," Food First Development Report no. 1, September 1987, 19-21.

46. Personal communication, 31 December 1987.

47. Mary Kay Magistrad, "Family Planning Program Under Fire in Bangladesh," Christian Science Monitor, 2 June 1988, 11.

48. Jodi L. Jacobson, "Planning the Global Family," 5.

49. Ibid., 5-6.

50. Ibid., 45.

51. Ibid., 13.

52. Judith Jacobsen, "Promoting Population Stabilization: Incentives for Small Families," Worldwatch Paper no. 54, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C., June 1983, 8.

53. During this period, an estimated 83 percent of all contraceptive users were sterilized (see Jacobson, "Planning the Global Family," 41).

54. J. S. Satia and Rushikesh M. Maru, "Incentives and Disincentives in the Indian Family Welfare Program," Studies in Family Planning 17, no. 3 (May/June 1986): 142.

55. Hartmann, Reproductive Rights, 237-8.

56. Hartmann, personal correspondence; also see New York Times, 11 January 1988, 4.

57. Satia and Maru, "Incentives and Disincentives," 136-145.

58. Interview with an Indian researcher who wishes to remain anonymous, August 1987.

59. Ibid., 138.

60. Betsy Hartmann, personal correspondence. Note also that women tend to, earn less than the average, and few Bangladeshis have steady employment at any wage.

61. Hartmann, Reproductive Rights, 214.

62. Ibid., 218.

63. Ibid., 216.

64. Betsy Hartmann, Food, Saris and Sterilization: Population Control in Bangladesh ( London: Bangladesh International Action Group, 198 5 ), 17.

65. More specifically, the Community-Based Integrated Rural Development program, as it's called, offers loans, direct credit, and farm inputs to rural families. See John Stoeckel et al., "Maintaining Family Planning Acceptance Levels through Development Incentives in Northeastern Thailand," Studies in Family Planning 17, no. I (January/February 1986): 36 43.

66. S. Surjaningrat and R. H. Pardoko, "Review of Some of the Management Aspects of the Indonesian Population and Family Planning Programme," Technical Report Series of the National Family Planning Coordination Board, Monograph no. 37, Indonesia, 1983, 3.

67. World Bank, World Development Report 1984, 125.

68. Linda Atkinson et al., "Prospects for Improved Contraception," Family Planning Perspectives, July/August. 1980, cited in Jacobson, "Planning the Global Family," 30.

69. Ibid., 30-31.

70. Despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved its use, several articles in the New York Times recently reported that Depo-provera is being administered as a contraceptive by the Indian Health Service. Although only 35 Native American women are currently being given the drug, at least 200 were prescribed it in the past. See "Indian Agency Using a Banned Contraceptive," New York Times, 7 August 1987, 8; and "Depo-provera and the Indian Women," Editorial, New York Times, 17 August 1987, 18.

71. Lynn Duggan, "From Birth Control to Population Control," Southeast Asia Chronicle 96 (January 1985): 28-31.

72. Duggan, "From Birth Control," 28-29; Linda Golley, "Health Care in Southeast Asia," Southeast Asia Chronicle, (June 1982): 7.

73. Duggan, "From Birth Control," 29; Also see World Health Organization, Injectable Hormonal Contraceptives: Technical Aspects and Safety (Geneva: World Health Organization, 1982), 17-23.

74. WHO Collaborative Study of Neoplasia and Steroid Contraceptives, "Invasive Cervical Cancer and Depot-medroxyprogesterone Acetate," Bulletin of the World Health Organization 63, no. 3 (1985): 508; L. C. Powell and R. J. Seymour, "Effects of Depot-medroxyprogesterone Acetate as a Contraceptive Agent, " American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1 l 0 ( 1971 ): 36-41. Another preliminary study by the WHO Collaborative Group suggests that Depo-provera is not linked to increased risk of breast cancer, as originally suspected (WHO Collaborative Study of Neoplasia and Steroid Contraceptives, "Breast Cancer and Depot-medroxyprogesterone Acetate," Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 63, no. 3 (1985): 513 - 519).

75. Duggan, "From Birth Control," 29.

76. Ibid.

77. UN Economic and Social Council, cited in Caroline Pratt, "Whose Right To Choose ? State Control of Fertility in South Africa and Namibia" (Master's thesis, University of Wisconsin, 1988).

78. Pratt, "Whose Right To Choose ?, " 21, citing a number of studies and reports.

79. Jacobson, "Planning the Global Family," 31.

80. Ibid.; see also Hartmann, Reproductive Rights, 196.

81. Jacobson, "Planning the Global Family," 31.

82. Hartmann, Reproductive Rights, 197.

83. These include disruption of the menstrual cycle, headache, depress sign, loss of sex drive, weight change, nausea, and acne. Norplant is also not recommended for lactating women. See Ibid., 197.

84. Firman Lubis et al., "One Year Experience with Norplant Implants in Indonesia," Studies in Family Planning, 14 (June/July 1983): 183.

85. Satia and Maru, "Incentives and Disincentives," 14546.

86. The proportion of married Mexican women who were sterilized in 1976 was 7 percent; by 1982, it had risen to 29 percent. (During the same period, the use of all other methods fell. ) Note that these figures refer to married women using contraception, not to all women. See Francisco Alba and Joseph Potter, "Population and Development in Mexico Since 1940: An Interpretation," Population and Development Review 12, no. 1 (March 1986), table 5.

87. Alba and Potter, "Population and Development in Mexico," table 5.

88. Lincoln Bergman et al., Puerto Rico: The Flame of Resistance (San Francisco: People's Press, 1977), 117. It should be noted, however, that the government did not establish an official sterilization program until 1974; when it did, the program came under the jurisdiction of the Division of Family Planning in the Department of Health. See Harriet B. Presser, "Puerto Rico: Recent Trends in Fertility and Sterilization," International Family Planning Perspectives 6 (March 1980): 20-25.

89. Bergman et al, Puerto Rico: The Flame of Resistance, 118.

90. Presser, "Puerto Rico: Recent Trends," 20.

91. Ibid., 22.

92. Hartmann, Reproductive Rights, 232.

93. Ana Maria Garcia, La Operacion (film), 1980.

94. Magistrad, "Family Planning Program Under Fire in Bangladesh."

95. Benjamin, ea., Don't Be Afraid Gringo, 48-9.

96. Phillips Cutright, "Family Planning Programs or Development: The Debate Continues," Intemational Family Planning Perspectives 12, no. 3 (September 1986): 105.

97. W. Parker Mauldin, Bernard Berelson, and Zenas Sykes, "Conditions of Fertility Decline in Developing Countries, 1965-1975," Studies in Family Planning 9, no. 5 (May 1978): 121. See also, Robert J. Lapham and W. P Mauldin, "Contraceptive Prevalence: The Influence of Organized Family Planning Programs," Studies in Family Planning 16, no. 3 (May/June 1985) for a more updated, though slightly different, analysis.

98. Lapham and Mauldin, ''Contraceptive Prevalence," 124.

99. It is in Kerala that India's first "family planning camps," criticized as extremely coercive, were held in 1970 and 1971. See J. K. Satia and Rushikesh M. Maru, "Incentives and Disincentives in the Indian Family Welfare Program," Studies in Family Planning 17, no. 3 (May/June 1986): 136- 145. Our point, however, is that this effort did not "take" until social conditions were right.

100. K. C. Zachariah, "The Anomaly of the Fertility Decline in India's Kerala State," World Bank Staff Working Paper no. 700 (Washington D.C.: World Bank, 1984), 6.

101. Rates of change in Indian fertility were calculated using data provided by Bruce Fuller of the World Bank's Population Division.

102. News Release of the Population Reference Bureau, 28 April 1988.

103. Data provided by Bruce Fuller of the World Bank's Population Division.

104. Hector L. Dieguez, "Social Consequences of the Economic Crisis: Mexico" (Unpublished paper by the world Bank, Washington, 1986), 4.

105. See, for instance Francisco Alba and Joseph Potter, "Population and Development in Mexico Since 1940: An Interpretation," Population and Development Review 12, no. I (March 1986), especially table 4.

106. In the "Social Consequences of the Economic Decline: Mexico," Dieguez refers to a 1983 survey done by Mexico's National Consumer Institute, which shows a significant decline in the consumption of oil, meat, sugar, eggs, beans, fruits, legumes, milk, bread, and fish. Not surprisingly, these declines were concentrated among the poorest house-holds.

107. The Thai-American Project, "The Role of the State in the Problem of Malnutrition Among the Children of Thailand" (Unpublished paper, Santa Monica, California, February 1986), 2.

108. The Thai-American Project, "The Role of the State," 1.

109. FAO Trade Yearbook 1983 (Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization, 1984), tables 10, 41, 48, 66, and 175.

110. Kraisak Choonhavan et al., United Nations Institute for Training and Research, Thailand Country Report, prepared for the UNITAR International Conference on "Alternative Development Strategies and the Future of Asia," New Delhi, 11-17 March 1980, 24.

111. The total fertility rate for India is now about 4.5 children per woman. The 25-year period referred to is 1960 to 1985. Data from the World Bank's Population Division.

112. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Agricultural Outlook (December 1985): 14-18.

113. FAO Trade Yearbook 1985 (Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization, 1986), 39, table 169.

114. World Bank, World Development Report 1987, table 27. Note that we've included Cuba in this list of 74 low and lower-middle income countries because it was so classified for the first period of our time series. Only in recent years has the World Bank reclassified Cuba as a "nonreporting nonmember economy." Also note that countries of a million or less in population are excluded from the bank's statistics.

115. Statistically, twos other countries might he included in this group: El Salvador and Mauritius. The first we exclude because its slow growth results from out migration and disruption and death from war. The second, an island whose population only recently passed a million, is so dissimilar to the other countries as to make meaningful comparisons impossible. Data on growth rates are from the World Bank's World Development Report (1984 and 1987) and represent averages for the 1980-85 period. Total fertility rates also come from the World Bank and were provided to us by Bruce Fuller of the bank's Population Division. We use total fertility rates instead of crude birth rates because the former should not be affected by shifts in the size of the cohort of women who are of childbearing age that could occur over a 25-year period.

116. According to the Indian Census, the population growth rate of Kerala averaged 1.8 percent annually between 1971 and 1981 (Census of India, Kerala State, part 2A, statements 3 and 8, pp. 28 and 32). Interview with Dr. K. C. Zachariah at the World Bank, Population and Human Resources Division, April 1986.

117. Murdoch, Poverty of Nations, 89.

118. Robert J. Lapham and W. Parker Mauldin, "Contraceptive Prevalence: The Influence of Organized Family Planning Programs," Studies in Family Planning 16 (May/June 1985): 177-137.

119. See for example: Elizabeth Croll, The Family Rice Bowl: Food and the Domestic Economy in China (Geneva: UN Research Institute for Social Development, 1982).

120. S. Kumar, The Impact of Subsidized Rice on Food Consumption in Kerala, Research Report no. 5 (Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute, 1979).

121. U.S Agency for International Development, Sri Lanka: The Impact of PL 480 Title I Assistance, AID Project Impact Evaluation Report no. 39 (Washington, D.C., October 1982), C-8.

122. Ibid., C-13. Since the 1970s, the food consumption of the lowest income groups has fallen both in quantity and in quality (less dried fish and beans).

123. Medea Benjamin, Joseph Collins, and Michael Scott, No Free Lunch: Food and Revolution in Cuba Today (New York: Grove Press/Food First, 1986), 26.

124. Ibid., 92. In 1983, in fact, the Organization of American States reported that Cuba ranked second in Latin America in per capita food availability.

125. A V Jose, "Poverty and Inequality: The Case of Kerala," in Poverty in Rural Asia, ed. Azizur Rahman Khan and Eddy Lee (Bangkok: International Labour Organization, Asian Employment Programme, 1983), 108.

126. World Development Forum 6 (29 February 1988): 1, quoting the New Delhi Family Planning Foundation. The infant mortality rate in India is 100; in Kerala it is 30. See also John Ratcliffe, "Social Justice and the Demographic Transition: Lessons from India's Kerala State," in Practicing Health for All, ed. D. Morley, J. Rohde, and G. Williams (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983); Ratcliffe "Toward a Social Justice Theory of Demographic Transition: Lessons from India's Kerala State, "Janasamkhya (Kerala University) 1 (June 1983).

127. Quoted in John Caldwell, "Routes to Low Mortality in Poor Countries," Population and Development Review 12 (June 1986) 198.

128. Caldwell, "Routes to Low Mortality, 191-4.

129. World Bank Development Report, 1987, table 27.

130. John Ratcliffe, Population Policies Attempting to Solve the Wrong Problem?" Politique de Population, Summer 1988, in press.

131. Ibid.

132. Ibid.

133. This may well explain the apparent rise in female infanticide in China since the 1979 change in policy. See "The Threat of Population Growth," World Press Review (August 1987) 59.

134. Ratclifte, "China's Population Policies." See also News Release from the Population Reference Bureau, 28 April 1988.

135. Personal communication with demography professor Alberto Palloni at the University of Wisconsin, December 1987. Another explanation of the decline in Chile's fertility offered by Dr. Palloni has to do with the strong European influence which still exists in Chile today. According to Palloni, this European influence has led to a relative openness in attitudes towards contraception.

136. Note that the Pinochet government's economic policies were originally designed and overseen by conservative U.S. economist Milton Friedman and his "Chicago boys," as they are colloquially known. For more on these policies, see Elton Rayack, Not So Free to Choose (New York Praeger, 1987) and Alejandro Foxley, Latin American Experiments in Neo-Conservative Economics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983)

137. See World Bank, World Development Report 1984, 198-199.

138. Interview with T. Paul Schultz, an economist and population specialist at Yale University, May 1986. Studies documenting the reduction in fertility associated with women's education abound.

139. Interview with Dr. Carmen Diana Deere, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, January 1986, and with Sherry Keith, World Bank officer, January 1986.

140. Interview with Dr. Nola Reinhart, Department of Economics, Smith College, April 1986.

141. Thailand's population growth rate during the 1960s averaged 3.1 percent per year, implying a 27 percent decline over the last 2 decades.

142. U.S. Agency for International Development, Women of the World: A Chartbook for Developing Regions, Asia (Washington D.C.: Bureau of the Census, 1985) 33-34.

143. Marjorie A. Muecke, "Make Money Not Babies: Changing Status Markers of Northern Thai Women," Asian Survey 24, no. 4 (April 1984): 459-469. Knodel et. al make a similar point in their article "Fertility Transition in Thailand: A Qualitative Analysis" noting that aspirations for consumer goods has increased greatly in Thailand, presumably motivating a greater desire for wealth. See Population and Development Review 10, no 2 (June 1984) 297-328.

144. Knodel et al., "Fertility Transition in Thailand: A Qualitative Analysis," Population and Development Review 10, no. 2 (June 1984) 297-328.

145. Chayan Vaddhanaphuti and Martha Winnacker, "Old Cash Structures and New Crops," Southeast Asia Chronicle 86 (October 1982): 3-9, esp. table 3. Also see M. Muceke, "Make Money, Not Babies"; Knodel et al., "Fertility Transition," 302; and Hartmann, Reproductive Rights and Wrongs, 7. It should be noted, however, that the impact of increased landlessness could just as well have the opposite effect, i.e., of stimulating fertility. While growing landlessness may lessen the need for extra farm hands, it can simultaneously increase a family's need for income earners, since more food must now be purchased.

146. The population growth rate in Costa Rica averaged 2.7 percent a year for the 1980-85 period.

147. Lapham and Mauldin, "Contraceptive Prevalence," 123, table 1.

148. The average contraceptive prevalence rate for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua combined is 22 percent. Also note that Costa Rica shows the highest contraceptive use of 28 countries classified as having weak family planning program efforts, and a higher rate than 16 countries with moderate family planning efforts, with the notable exception of Cuba (see Lapham and Mauldin, "Contraceptive Prevalence, " 123, table 1).

149. Caldwell, "Routes to Low Mortality," 200.

150. Ibid., 199.

151. World Bank, World Development Report 1984, table 28, 272.

152. Miguel Urrutia, Winners and Losers in Colombia's Economic Growth of the 1970s (London: Oxford University Press, 1985), 86-87.

153. The study also controlled for per capita GNP differences. "The poorest groups" here refers to the bottom 40 percent of the population by income. World Bank, Population Policies and Economic Development, A World Bank Staff Report, Timothy King, coordinating author (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), appendix A, 147. See also Robert Repetto, The Interaction of Fertility and the Size Distribution of Income, Harvard Center for Population Studies, Research Papers Series no. 8, (Cambridge, Mass., October 1974).

154. World Bank, Population Policies, 147.

155. Frances Moore Lappnd Joseph Collins with Cary Fowler, Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity (New York: Ballantine, 1977); Frances Moore Lappnd Joseph Collins, World Hunger: Twelve Myths (New York and San Francisco: Grove Press/Food First Books, 1986).

156. See, for example, Baird Callicott, In Defense of the Land Ethic (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988); Holmes Ralston, 111, Philosophy Gone Wild: Essays in Environmental Ethics (Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Press, 1986).

157. Frances Moore LappRachel Schurman, Kevin Danaher, Betraying the National Interest (New York and San Francisco: Grove Press/Food First Books, 1988).