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Population and Poverty in Classical Theory: Testing a Structural Model for India

Nigel Crook
Population Studies
Vol. 50, No. 2 (Jul., 1996), pp. 173-185
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2174909
Page Count: 13
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Population and Poverty in Classical Theory: Testing a Structural Model for India
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Abstract

There has for many years been debate over the relationships between population growth rates and poverty. India is a country which provides a good testing ground for hypotheses about this relationship because since Independence a relatively high proportion of the population have lived in poverty; and there also exist reasonable data. This paper develops a simple structural model to investigate the relationship between population growth and poverty in particular, testing a series of hypotheses developed from the work of Marx and Malthus. The data are analysed at state level, and attention is drawn to the problems that this might cause as behaviour is typically determined at the individual household level. The results show that agricultural productivity and the process of landlessness are better predictors of poverty at a state level than the population growth rate. It is argued that the results fit better with the views of Marx than those of Malthus.

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