Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



History of Population Theories. J. Overbeek. Rotterdam: Rotterdam University-Press, 1974. 232 pp.

Theories of economists, biologists, sociologists, and demographers have-been woven by Overbeek into an historical fabric which portrays mans, intellectual attempt to determine the consequences of human population growth. The heart of the book consists of a series of short precis summarizing and commenting upon the theories of noted scholars dealing with population from the late 18th century to date. The organization of the book is basically chronological although the chronology is dichotomized into two camps: those pessimists about future population/resource relationships and those who refute or deny predictions of overpopulation. Following a brief introductory chapter, Overbeek devotes one chapter to a recitation of the facts concerning world population growth with projections to 1985. There then follows a very cursory review of pre-Mercantile theories of population and a brief chapter describing Mercantilism which sets the stage for the ensuing expansion of theoretical concern with human numbers

Richard W. Helbock

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