Population vs. Resources TaskEster Boserup
Ester Boserup
Ester Boserup

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Quotes

  • "Necessity is the mother of invention" Ester Boserup

  • "In spite of all its shortcomings, The Conditions of Agricultural Growth remains a small masterpiece which economic historians should read -- and not simply quote." Giovanni Federico

  • "Ester Boserup was a truly original scholar who challenged many prevailing economic development theories and became the guru of the women and international development movement." Professor Emerita




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  • May 18, 1910 - September 24, 1999

  • Born in Copenhagen

  • graduated with a degree in theoretical economics

  • Economist and writer.

  • She studied economical and agricultural development

  • Worked at the United Nations as well as other international organizations and she wrote several books.

  • Her most notable book is The Conditions of Agricultural Growth: The Economics of Agrarian Change under Population Pressure. This book has the assumption agricultural methods determine population

  • She was the only daughter

  • Her father was an engineer, died when she was 2 years old.

  • Married during university with Mogens Boserup and had 1 daughter and 2 sons.

  • She had an important role of women in human development.

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Boserup developed her ideas in connection with traditional farming systems in South East Asia, but her ideas have been applied to global agricultural patterns.

If Boserup is right, then the most advanced agricultural technology should be found in places which are closest to a Mathusian crisis. High-tech agriculture should therefore only be found in places with large populations of near-starving people.

There are some who argue that Boserup can't work indefinitely. At some point, the population may get so huge that they can't be fed no matter how inventive they are. Indeed to feed more mouths people have to dig deeper into the environment, to divert more biological productivity for themselves, to demand more from the soil, to use more water, more fertilizer.


Gender studies

She also contributed to the discourse surrounding gender and development practises with her 1970 work "Woman's Role in Economic Development". Boserup's text evaluated how work was divided between men and women, the types of jobs that constituted productive work, and the type of education women needed to have a development.




image.axd.png
comparison with Maltheus and Boserup

According to Malthusian theory, the size and growth of the population depends on the food supply and agricultural methods. When food is not sufficient for everyone, the excess population will die.

In Boserup’s theory agricultural methods depend on the size of the population that you just have to upgrade the productivity of the food supply. And in those times of pressure, people will find ways to increase the production of food by increasing workforce, machinery, fertilizers, etc.



external image Graph_boserup.JPG
This graph above shows how the rate of food supply may vary but never reaches its carrying capacity because every time it is getting near, there is an invention or development that causes the food supply to increase.
The theory has been instrumental in understanding agricultural patterns in developing countries, although it is highly simplified and generalized.



external image image.axd?picture=boserup_was_right_regular_thumb.png



Malthusian Theory

Boserup

Theory

The size and growth of the population depends on the food supply and agricultural methods.

Malthusian view, in times when food is not sufficient for everyone, the excess populatio will die.
Agricultural methods depend on the size of the population.


Boserup argued that in those times of pressure, people will find ways to increase the production of food by increasing workforce, machinery, fertilizers, etc.




Bibliography


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ester_Boserup
http://www.yorku.ca/anderson/population/boserup.htm

Mariana Barrientos & Carlos Cantu