...First, living standards are negatively related to the size of population... fixed factor[s] of production... agricultural land, but you could just say resources.... Second... population growth is positively related to living standards.... At this point, everything else follows.... Everything in the system is pushing back towards some middle ground where the resource per person, and hence the living standard, is at just the right level so that population growth is zero...
Four Orienting Questions:
- How many different "Malthusianisms" besides his own does Vollrath identity? What are they?
- Over what time frame does Vollrath claim that it takes for Malthusian (in his sense) responses to shocks like the Black Death take place?
- "Subsistence" in Malthusian theory: what is it?
- The potential divorce between human well-being on the one hand and reproductive success on the other--even when populations are quite poor, and far from the demographic transition--why is it potentially important here: 5.