Africa’s Malthusian trap?

In: Uncategorized

31 Aug 2007

Gregory Clark, the author of A Farewell to Alms (see 7 August and 10 August posts), has written an article in the New York Sun on Africa. He argues the continent is caught in a “Malthusian trap” in which rising living standards lead to population growth which in turn puts pressure on fixed resources and then depresses living standards. The problem with this perspective is that it naturalises underdevelopment: in other words it misses the broader economic and social barriers to development.

However, Clark does call for industrialisation as a way of breaking out of the Malthusian trap and promoting development. In this he is way ahead of most other development thinkers nowadays.

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