Hoover Institution Press: Population Puzzle: Boom or Bust?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The controversy over the planet's ability to support its growing population that began with Thomas Malthus in 1798 is still being debated today. In Population Puzzle: Boom or Bust? (Hoover Institution Press, 2005), the question of overpopulation and other population-related issues are discussed. "The purpose of this primer," according to the editors Laura E. Huggins, a Hoover research fellow, and Hanna Skandera, California undersecretary for education and a former Hoover research fellow, "is to provide an overview of the issues surrounding world population growth."

Part I of Population Puzzle provides background on the various theories pertaining to population growth, examines the fundamental ethical issues and dividing lines relating to population, and highlights the debate between Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon. In the next two parts a variety of opinions on how the growth of population affects resources such as water and food are offered. Part IV explores the arguments of prosperity by "design" and prosperity "laissez-faire" style. Part V addresses the important question, who should decide what is best when it comes to population policy? And Part VI tackles the pitfalls of predictions.

Each section of the book is prefaced with a brief overview and introduction, along with relevant facts, figures, quotes, and often a supplementary snapshot—a specific example that captures the issue at hand.

Population Puzzle: Boom or Bust?
Edited by Laura E. Huggins and Hanna Skandera

ISBN: 0-8179-4532-6 $15.00
425 pages January 2005