In 1950 the world population was 2.5 billion; fifty years later there are over 6 billion people. The demographic of this explosion has essentially occurred in the developing areas of the world. The key to understanding many contemporary development problems that have arisen from this rapid growth is in understanding the relationships between population and the economy. This book offers an analysis of such relationships, encompassing a review of the major positions in the academic debate. Nadia Cuffaro begins with the Malthus and Solowth growth models, examining the implications for population and compares them to the theoretical background of alternative positions, including new institutional economics. Part two considers population growth in relation to agriculture and focuses on technical progress and institutional adjustments. It is argued that simple functionalism leads to a misrepresentation of the problems and that there are many possible adjustment failures linked to the research system, property rights on land and poverty that greatly effect the environmental resource base.
Finally the author looks to the future to consider biotechnology and the challenges for world agriculture. Population, Economic Growth and Agriculture in Less Developed Countries will serve as a useful introduction and reference tool for students, academics and all with an interest in the population debate and economics.