Malthusian Theory of Population

An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthusian catastrophe, Thomas Robert Malthus

Malthusian theory of population The pre Malthusian theory of population was not systemic. Mathus was the first economist to propound a systemic theory of population. Thomas Robert Mathus enunciated his views regarding population in his famous book Essay on the principle of Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society. This book was the outcome of the discussion between him and his father who agreed with the utopian vision of his friend, named Godwin. Godwin believed that humanity was on its way to form a society in which disease, melancholy and war could be abolished Godwin pointed out that a perfect state could be attained if human restraints could be removed. Maithus revolted against the optimism shared by his father and Godwin. Malthus pointed out that population increased at a much more rapid rate than did the production of food, and, as such, it was useless to think of human prosperity. The gap between population growth and the increase in food supply barred, the realization of the vision of prosperity of men. He said that the pressure of increasing population on food supply will destroy perfection and there would be human misery Malthus was severely criticized as a pessimist He collected the empirical data to support his thesis Maithus got the second edition of his book published in 1803 when he modified some of his views expressed earlier But essentially his original thesis stands

The following assumptions were made by Malthus:

(1) The sexual desire of human beings remains stable Therefore the desire to reproduce also remains stable .The development of science and the progress of civilization cannot change its desire. (2) There is a direct, positive correlation between population growth and the standard of living. As the standard of living goes up, the desire to reproduce also increases. Conversely as the standard of living does down, the birth rate also goes down. (3) The law of diminishing returns operates in agriculture....
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