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Population, Ethnicity, and Public Goods: The Logic of Interest Group Strategy

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Baden, John
Date: 1976
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/4076
Sector: Social Organization
Subject(s): population
public goods and bads
Abstract: From Introduction: "Population control Is essentially a problem of choice. Societies face the necessity of choosing their level of population; we note that not to choose Is In Itself a choice. "There has been controversy, particularly between Paul Ehrlich and Barry Commoner, centered around the methods to be employed in any attempt at population control. There are those who baulk at any suggestions that lead to Institutionalized coercion methods as a threatening form of political repression. Barry Commoner, in his book The Closing Circle (Knopf, 1971), has advanced the argument that if a substantial majority of the members of a society were to voluntarily accept a program for birth control, then coercion would be rendered unnecessary. However, there seems to be a flaw In this position. The error became apparent when Garret Hardin demonstrated that leaders of subgroups within a society have a vested interest to admonish their followers to outbreed other subgroups. Admonitions of this nature possess the potentiality for undermining voluntary cooperation in birth control, if loyalties to the subgroup can be so directed. This brings us to the application of theories of population dynamics to issues of human population policy."

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