Population growth : A comparison of evolutionary views

William A. Jackson (Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, UK)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 1 June 1995


Economists are divided about population growth: the pessimism of neo‐Malthusians contrasts strongly with the optimism of cornucopians. Despite their differences, however, both schools of thought reject economic orthodoxy and prefer evolutionary forms of theory. Their interpretations of evolution are different: the neo‐Malthusians appeal to the entropy law, whereas the cornucopians emphasize human creativity expressed through markets. Argues that both schools are right to adopt an evolutionary outlook, but that they are too restrictive in their conception of evolution. A more complete evolutionary view, which allows properly for social institutions, could give a more balanced account of population growth.



Jackson, W.A. (1995), "Population growth : A comparison of evolutionary views", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 3-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/03068299510091160

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Copyright © 1995, MCB UP Limited

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