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Boserup, Ester (1910–99)

Ester boserup was a danish economist who studied economic and agricultural development. Her most notable work is The Conditions of Agricultural Growth: The Economics of Agrarian Change under Population Pressure (1965). Boserup presented her work as a “framework for a dynamic analysis embracing all types of primitive agriculture.” She posited the theory that instead of agricultural output determining population size, population pressure was a precondition for the emergence and development of agricultural innovation and intensification, primarily among subsistence and peasant producers. Boserup described how societies with moderate population growth can increase agricultural productivity by investing additional labor and applying innovations to their farming systems, such as digging irrigation channels or building terraces. Her theory that population pressure stimulates agricultural innovations directly contradicted Thomas Malthus ...

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