In a message dated 7/28/98 10:12:07 AM, Robin Hanson wrote:
>I seriously doubt that; being rich has been associated with smaller families
>before there was any Coca-Cola. I am convinced that there has been a robust
>causal relationship between wealth and family size over the last few
It's not *that* old. It's a 19th century phenomenom (still pre-Coca-Cola). In the 18th century wealthy English on average had more children than poor or middle class ones. I believe the first country to experience the demographic transition, including the inversion of the traditional association between wealth and fecundity, was France, shortly after the Revolution.
A point: the driving force is not wealth but female education. Wealth plus uneducated women (some Muslim countries) = high birth rate; education plus poverty (the Indian state of Kerala) = low birth rate. There's just a very strong correlation between wealth and education, with causation probably going in both (educated people tend to get rich and rich children tend to get educated)
>I just don't think this relationship is evolutionarily stable; given enough
>it would be reversed.