Re: poly: Why Demographic Transition?

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Tue Jul 28 1998 - 13:08:14 PDT

Carl F. writes:
>>When a parent cares about their boy's mating changes, they also care
>>how rich each of their boys is. ...
>There was an article on this in the Economist a year or two ago, and they
>suggested the same conclusion. IIRC, they reported on a study on some
>technologically primitive tribe that supported this theory.

That does it; I've got to read a bunch of evolutionary psychology.
I'm getting tired of reinventing the wheel :-).

>I wonder by what twisty physiology "wealth" is determined? It can't be by
>comparison to the people around you, since all classes go through the
>demographic transition together. If it is by comparison to how wealthy one
>was as a child, then one would expect to see rapidly growing populations in
>places with static living standards, like Argentina.
>Perhaps it is an absolute scale, like never being hungry. In this case,
>refrigeration and snack foods are a powerful contraceptive.

How often one is cold, hungry, sick, injured, or terribly scared sound
plausible to me.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-2627
Received on Tue Jul 28 20:20:11 1998

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