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Population and Economics: A Bioeconomic Analysis

Herman E. Daly
Population and Environment
Vol. 12, No. 3 (Mar., 1991), pp. 257-263
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27503200
Page Count: 7
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Population and Economics: A Bioeconomic Analysis
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Abstract

The notion of optimal population is recast as a problem of optimal scale (population times per capita resource use). Bioeconomic limits to scale are considered, drawing on concepts from A.J. Lotka and N. Georgescu-Roegen. The ethical choice between many people at low resource use per capita versus fewer people at higher resource per capita transcends bioeconomics, but is unavoidable and highlights the issue of sufficiency as well as efficiency. A policy of increasing resource severance taxes and lowering income taxes, especially on lower incomes, is suggested as a way of serving both efficiency and sufficiency.

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