Population and Development: The Search for Selective Interventions

Population and Development: The Search for Selective Interventions

Population and Development: The Search for Selective Interventions

Population and Development: The Search for Selective Interventions

Excerpt

This book grew out of a project initiated by Resources for the Future to search for selective interventions into the development process that in turn might speed the course of fertility decline in developing countries. The authors were asked to review what is known about the linkages between fertility and those determinants of fertility that might be amenable to policy manipulation, to consider policies that might move these determinants in a favorable direction, and to discuss research needs and ways of satisfying them. The authors were selected not because of discipline or nationality, but because they had something to contribute, appreciated the goals of the assignment and the seriousness of the effort we wished to make, and yet were close enough to each other to work together whenever necessary. During the year devoted to this task, the authors met three times: twice to review outlines, coordinate plans, and exchange information, and finally, to discuss their findings with critical reviewers at a conference. The final papers, written after this 1975 conference and incorporating the reviewers' comments, are presented in this volume along with a summary and interpretation of these materials.

The result is a volume that we hope will find wide use, not only by researchers and serious students of population problems, but also by administrators and policy makers. The latter may feel that their immediate needs have been slighted somewhat, despite my effort to speak to their concerns in chapter 1. But there is no sense in pretending that we have adequate answers to policy questions when most authors feel a desperate need for better data and sharper research tools. On the other hand, it makes no sense for the policy maker to ignore the modest insights that researchers can offer; but to make proper use of these insights, he will have to understand the possibilities and limitations inherent in the methodology and data used to derive them.

A special vote of thanks must be reserved for the discussants, the unsung but often important contributors to every chapter of this volume.

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