Feed r d or farm it out case analysis

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Feed r d or farm it out case analysis

Feed R&D - or Farm It Out? Commentary for HBR Case Study | The Case Centre, for educators

Here, then, are just a handful of the many issues arising out of the exchange, each one wrapped up with a point for discussion. The exchange itself can be found lurking at the bottom of my offending post, but is also linked at the end of this one for convenience.

The relationship between human fertility and poverty. Focusing for now just on the impoverishment side of things, I think this claim is empirically wrong and could well be politically disastrous.

An elementary knowledge of the recent and longer-term history of these countries and their regions would surely call into question the claim that population growth is the main driver of their impoverishment.

Mark Duffield Global Governance and the New Warsthen there is some evidence to suggest an association between impoverishment and population growth caused by high fertility. A lot of the evidence she discusses is based on country-level data suggestive of GDP growth postdating fertility decline.

There are some problems with this aggregate-level post hoc ergo propter hoc argument as a justification for reducing individual fertility as an anti-poverty strategy. But overall I think there are some problems of causal inference in parts of her paper.

So let me rephrase her assertion once again, this time as it might be interpreted through the beady gaze of the US president, perhaps the best-known of those voices: The consequence of proposing that the best way to tackle poverty is through population control policies might well be a further reduction in population control policies.

Population, environmental damage and climate change.

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The main point I want to make here is not so much about which countries bear most responsibility for global environmental ills. But I do also want to make the point that it is the low-fertility, high-income countries that bear most responsibility for global environmental ills — most especially greenhouse gas emissions, which are important not only in their direct effects but as an index of the wider environmental bads associated with the economies that disproportionately produce them.

The graph below shows the carbon dioxide emissions produced in Australia over the last fifty-odd years in blue and the emissions produced in aggregate by the nine African countries previously mentioned with the highest fertility in red.

Let me try to quantify that statement. On current measures of per capita emissions, one extra Australian adds CO2 equivalent to that of about 41 extra people from the high-fertility African countries probably an underestimate.

At those levels, the 5. Reducing fertility in high-fertility countries is not an especially important priority for tackling climate change.


Family planning programs and the fertility decline slowdown. I did a bit of analysis on the World Development Indicator dataset that I think is at least broadly suggestive that this may be so.

The overall average for these countries was a fertility decline of 0. But looking at the fifty countries with the lowest current fertility, the decline was 0.

More generally, it seems to me difficult to isolate the effects of FP programs on global fertility as completely independent, exogenous effects that can be separated from wider governmental and civil society structures and from the agency of target populations.

Making the case for a small farm renaissance

Writers like Banerjee and Duflo3 emphasize the complexity of family planning interventions, the independent agency of the poor and the complex links to fertility quite cautiously. And of the ten highest fertility countries mentioned above, six of them come into the top quarter of the global draw in terms of post fertility decline, and all of them in the top half.

Civil conflict seems to be a missing variable in much of the discussion about fertility.Meat consumption and human health. Meat is a dietary source of heme-iron, vitamin B12, zinc and high biological value proteins that are highly digestible and contain all essential amino acids.

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