< 9 Differences Between Malthusian Theory And Optimum Theory Of Population
Economics

9 Differences Between Malthusian Theory And Optimum Theory Of Population

Optimum theory of population is the Modern theory of population. Modern economists have supported the view of this theory and severely criticized Malthus’s theory of population the various grounds. They¬†have shown a few differences between Malthusian theory and optimum theory of population.

The differences those the economists have shown in between Malthusian theory and optimum theory of population are given shortly, for your understanding.

Differences between Malthusian theory of population and optimum theory of population :

Malthus concentrated his attention on food production. He made comparison between increase in population and increase in the tries subsistence. But the proponents of optimum theory focused their attention on economic development from all its aspects.

1. Malthusian theory defined over-population on in terms of food supply. Malthus considered that a country is over-populated when its production of food stuff is outweighed by the increase in population. But according to the optimum theory, a country is over populated when its population is in excess of the available natural resources.

2. Malthusian theory of population is developed on the basis of Law of Diminishing Returns in the case of agriculture. He ignored the increasing returns to sale is also applicable in the case of agriculture. On the other hand, optimum theory of population is developed on the basis of law of increasing returns to scale.

3. Malthusian theory of population has viewed that additional population puts burden on the economy as additional men and women act as consumers only. As against this, the proponents of optimum theory have broader outlook by assuming that additional population act as consumers as well as producers.

4. Malthusian theory of population has viewed that additional population puts burden on the economy as additional men and women act as consumers only. As against this, the proponents of optimum theory have broader outlook by assuming that additional population acts as consumers as well as producers.

5. While Malthusian theory of population is pessimistic, the modern theory of population is optimistic. Malthus described the future as gloomy and dark. But modern economists do not have such conclusions. They stated that the development of the country’s resources would brighten the prospects of the economy.

6. Malthusian theory is static whereas the optimum theory is dynamic in its nature. The former considers that food production could not be increased after a particular stage due to the influence of Law of Diminishing Returns. But the optimum theory is considered dynamic one as it stated than optimum population changes with technology, natural resources and capital stock.

7. Malthusian theory of population considers that increase in population is due to the increase in birth rate only. It ignored the impact of death rate of population growth. But the optimum theory considers both these factors responsible for the increase or decrease in population.

8. Malthusian theory considers that over-population always retards economic development and brings miseries to the people. But the proponents of optimum theory considered that over population is sometimes beneficial end necessary for the efficient utilization of the available natural resources. They believed that so long as natural resources are unutilized, increase in population is a welcome measure.

9. Malthusian theory generalized the problem of population irrespective of the economic conditions of a country. But the optimum theory analyses the population problem on the basis of the economic conditions of a particular country.

Thus, the optimum theory is considered superior to the Malthusian theory of population.

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