Population and Development Review Releases Supplement on Population and Public Policy
Influential journal celebrates career of founding editor and demographer
NEW YORK, NY (11 February 2013) — A new supplement to the influential journal Population and Development Review examines current themes in population and public policy—from low fertility and aging populations, to environment, technology, and wealth. Written by some of today's leading social scientists, the 21 essays present new insights and arguments on current population and development challenges. The supplement marks the retirement of noted demographer Paul Demeny, Distinguished Scholar at the Population Council. Demeny founded the journal in 1975 to address population issues with policy relevance and served as editor for the past 38 years.
"I have found great inspiration from Population and Development Review," says economist Nancy Folbre of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. "It has created a platform for an open-minded and intellectually adventurous exploration of the nexus between fertility decisions and the broader forces shaping the relative well-being of women and men, young and old, parents and non-parents. We should be grateful for the many ways this collaborative project has moved the world of demography forward."
Essays in the supplement include:
- "The Intergenerational Welfare State," by Folbre and Douglas Wolf, explores the private and public routes through which families and societies provide for their young and old members. Folbre and Wolf discuss how public-sector transfers can better align the private costs and benefits of parenthood and contribute to greater equity between the generations.
- "Why Demographic Suicide? The Puzzles of European Fertility," by Lant Pritchett and Martina Viarengo, considers the enigma of ultra-low fertility and the future dwindling of population that it portends in many of today's rich countries. The usual economic explanations break down in the face of high rates of voluntary childlessness and fewer stable unions.
- In "Fertility Transition: Is sub-Saharan Africa Different?" John Bongaarts and John Casterline investigate the lagging birth-rate decline in sub-Saharan Africa, the world's last high-fertility region. Bongaarts and Casterline find that women in Africa have both a high ideal family size and a high unmet need for family planning. They conclude that the pace of fertility decline will not increase unless African policymakers champion the idea that smaller families are key to the health and prosperity of their countries.
- In "Working Misunderstandings: Donors, Brokers, and Villagers in Africa's AIDS Industry," Susan Cotts Watkins and Ann Swidler draw on their fieldwork in Malawi to argue that donor-sponsored HIV interventions have been largely ineffectual in terms of their immediate objectives but nonetheless have yielded a range of benefits for villagers and for the broader development landscape.
- "Peak Farmland and the Prospect for Land Sparing," by Jesse H. Ausubel, Iddo K. Wernick, and Paul E. Waggoner, examines human demands on the natural environment, and finds considerable reason for optimism: a near-term peaking of cropland area, followed by a downward trend. (This paper was published in advance of print as part of the 18 December 2012 symposium at The Rockefeller University in celebration of Paul Demeny's 80th birthday and to mark his retirement as editor of Population and Development Review.)
"The collection offers a rich sampling of contemporary thinking on policy-related population issues," says Geoffrey McNicoll, Population and Development Review co-editor.
Population and Development Review, a quarterly journal published by the Population Council, presents peer-reviewed scientific research on the relationships between population and social, economic, and environmental change and provides a forum for discussion of related issues of public policy.
Additional contents of the issue include:
- Reflections on Post-Transition Demography, by Geoffrey McNicoll
- Low Fertility in Historical Perspective, by Massimo Livi Bacci
- On Demographic and Democratic Transitions, by Tim Dyson
- A Demographic Perspective on Japan's "Lost Decades," by Reiko Aoki
- Population, Policy, and Politics: How Will History Judge China's One-Child Policy? by Wang Feng, Yong Cai, and Baochang Gu
- Patriarchal Demographics? China's Sex Ratio Reconsidered, by Susan Greenhalgh
- The Recent Fertility Transition in Rwanda, by Charles F. Westoff
- Fertility and Population Policy in Algeria: Discrepancies between Planning and Outcomes, by Zahia Ouadah-Bedidi and Jacques Vallin
- Demographic Metabolism: A Predictive Theory of Socioeconomic Change, by Wolfgang Lutz
- Cross-Sections Are History, by Richard A. Easterlin
- Population Change among the Elderly: International Patterns, by Andrew Stokes and Samuel H. Preston
- The French School of Demography: Contextualizing Demographic Analysis, by Véronique Petit and Yves Charbit
- The Twilight of the Census, by David Coleman
Low Fertility, Population Aging, and the Body Politic
Policy and Program: China
Policy and Program: Africa
Environment, Technology, and Wealth
Population Theory and Measurement
Open-access contents available at: http://www.popcouncil.org/publications/books/2012_PDRSuppPopPublicPolicy.asp
About the Population Council
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.
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Contacts and Resources
The Population Council welcomes Landis MacKellar as co-editor of Population and Development Review.