Re: Population Limited by Territoriality?
Mon, 5 Dec 94 18:08:02 GMT

In Article <> (JAMES BENTHALL) writes:
>In article <>, (McCarthy John) writes...
>>Some demographers have expressed puzzlement about the fact that
>>English population exploded at the time of the industrial revolution
>>when no improvement in medicine or public health had yet been created.

(snip, snip)
> I
>actually had a class in demography and the only thing I remember is the teacher
>hammering through her assertion that humans only reproduce if it is an
>"investment" and not if it is a "consumption".
>For instance, in agricultural societies a child is an investment since it can
>help with chores, growing of crops, etc.

Some have suggested that this was also a motive during the Industrial
Revolution before child labor reform. The implication is that one
could put one's children to work in factories or the coal mines to
provide additional support for the family.

One might also consider parental investment in female offspring
(c.f. Trivers- Willard ) because they have the potential to marry upward in
society, or fetch a good bride price. Again reproduction is an investment
rather than a cost. I think the point the demographers were making was that
high natality was off set by high mortality achieved in 2 ways, perinatal
(high infant mortality) death rates, and high rates of premature mortality
due to disease, infection and occupational/accidental causes (e.g hunting,
warfare etc.). With substantial changes in health and hygiene we have managed
to reduce the stabalizing influence of early mortality leaving birth rates
unaffected. Some of this work has been presented in various discussions of the
epidemiologic transition by Omran (1971, Millbank Memorial Quart 49:515) and
others. Hope this is helpful!!!

* Charles T. Faulkner * When you don't know where you're
* Univ of Tennessee, Knoxville * going any road will take you there.
* ( * Alice