Re: longevity and overpop

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 28 Jul 1998 10:05:50 -0700

Bradley Felton wrote:
>Robin Hanson wrote:
>>On Damien B.'s cue, I'll say I think Max's "inevitable" claim is too strong.
>>There is nothing economically inevitable about wanting to have fewer kids when
>>you're rich; it's a matter of preferences. And there are in fact a minority
>>of rich folks who seem to prefer large families, and whose kids do too.
>I too find such claims suspect--they seem to be prime cases of post hoc,
>ergo propter hoc. One could probably find as much "evidence" for a
>connection between Coca-Cola consumption and smaller families.

I seriously doubt that; being rich has been associated with smaller families well before there was any Coca-Cola. I am convinced that there has been a robust and causal relationship between wealth and family size over the last few centuries. I just don't think this relationship is evolutionarily stable; given enough time, it would be reversed.

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