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Demography, food production and famine risks in the 21st century

Tim Dyson and Cormac Ó Gráda ()

No 200216, Working Papers from School of Economics, University College Dublin

Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to address the question of whether the world can feed itself during the 21st Century. We start with a brief review of the chief demographic effects of famines - with special reference to their possible practical significance. The paper then considers so-called 'neo-Malthusian' dimensions of famines - and, in particular, the widespread notion that population growth may outpace growth in the global food supply. We dismiss such concerns for the near term future. But we contend that in certain respects population growth and population scale may be of considerable significance apropos the risk of future famines - especially if cognisance is taken of issues of global sustainability, and the longer run. For reasons of efficiency our arguments are largely arranged in point form.

Keywords: Famines; Demography; Food supply (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2002-07
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http://hdl.handle.net/10197/486 First version, 2002 (application/pdf)

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