Insegnamento a.a. 2008-2009



Department of Decision Sciences

Course taught in English

Insegnamento riservato agli studenti CEU

Go to class group/s: 31
DIEM (6 credits - I sem. - AI)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The course discusses the interrelationships between population dynamics and other issues concerning social and economic dynamics, in a comparative and international perspective. After an introduction on the long-term growth of the world's population, the course focuses on key population issues concerning present times: sustainable development and the future of world's population, demographic problems in developing countries and in the Western world (Europe in particular), international migrations and the role of international institutions in the population scene, population policies and the analysis of demographic data. The topics and tools presented are useful for students interested in the functioning of international markets, middle-long term economic dynamics, population history. sustainable development, inequality and the role of international organizations, mathematical and statistical modelling. The course has an introductory and applied style, including hands-on computer sessions and the use of e-learning, but also refers whenever possible to the most recent scientific literature.

Course Content Summary

  • Long-term dynamics of the World's population. The Demographic Transition: a passage from constraint to choice? Some analytical demographic tools for the study of population dynamics.
  • Land, labor and population. Malthus and Boserup
  • Contemporary population problems in developing countries. Comparative case studies: China and India. International conferences on population and environment (from Bucharest to Cairo and Johannesburg). Emerging health threats.
  • The urban transition. Population and environment
  • Contemporary population problems in Europe and other developed countries. The Second Demographic Transition. Low fertility. Population ageing. The situation in countries in transition.
  • International migrations today: theories, evidence, political debate.
  • International demographic research: institutions, data sources, methods. Demographic indicators used in the study of human development, large-scale comparative survey projects.
  • The post-transition regime: towards a convergence of demographic behavior? The international and European situation. The uncertain future of population: forecasts and projections.
  • Hands-on computer sessions on data sources on introductory techniques for the analysis of demographic data.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

The exam might be taken in three different ways:

For attending students

  • a partial written exam on the first part of the course and a final oral exam on the second part of the course
  • a partial written exam on the first part of the course and an individual or small group paper (about 5,000 words) on a topic to be agreed with one of the instructors

For non-attending students

  • an oral exam on both books (all chapters)


  • M. LIVI BACCI, A Concise History of World Population, third edition, London, Blackwell, 2001.
  • J.R. WEEKS, Population. An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, tenth edition, Belmond, CA, Thomson, 2008 (selected chapters only for attending students).
  • Other readings will be included in the detailed syllabus
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 26/07/2008 12:20