Studying the Causes and Effects of Population Change

  • Oscar Harkavy
Part of the The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis book series (PSDE)


A few years ago Professor John Caldwell, the eminent Australian social demographer, startled his audience by asserting that the worldwide community of social scientists specializing in population “literally talked down the birthrate” in the developing world.1 By this he meant that social scientists—demographers, sociologists, economists, and anthropologists—trained at population studies centers at a few universities in the United States and abroad played a crucial role in convincing Third World governments to deal with excessive population growth. He based his claim on systematic interviews he and his wife, Pat, conducted throughout Asia and the Middle East in the late 1960s with key individuals who pioneered national population policy and programs in that part of the world. They found that:

Action was usually taken and continued on the advice of individuals. These individuals had surprisingly frequently taken degrees in the main population programs, or had taken some courses with these programs, or had taken economics degrees where they were lectured by faculty with part-time connections with the population programs.2


Family Planning Demographic Transition Population Movement Family Planning Program Fertility Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oscar Harkavy
    • 1
  1. 1.The Ford FoundationNew YorkUSA

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