Genes say: When Rich, have Fewer Kids

Robin Hanson (
Thu, 6 Mar 1997 10:02:04 -0800 (PST)

There an interesting article on p1259 in the current (28Feb) Science
about why birth rates have been falling. By looking at a quite pre
industrial society in Africe, researchers find that even these people
tend to have fewer kids when they get richer. Thus they suspect that
this tendency is genetic, that passing wealth onto their kids once
helped our ancestors get more descendants in the long run. If true,
this is cause for optimism. Such a deep genetic tendency is unlikely
to get selected out before technlogical change makes it all moot.

Robin D. Hanson