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COMPLEX TIME: Adaptation, Aging, & Arrow of Time

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Population and the Environment: Analytical Demography and Applied Population Ethics/Household decisions and their consequences - fertility & family planning

From Complex Time

October 16, 2018
10:50 am - 11:35 pm


Aisha Dasgupta (United Nations)


The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development reaffirmed the language of rights in the sphere of family planning and reproductive health. But, to insist that the rights of individuals and couples to decide freely the number of children they produce trump all competing interests, is to minimise the rights of all those (especially future people) who suffer from the environmental externalities that accompany additions to the population. More women today than ever before are using modern methods of contraception, but there still remain over 200 million women with an unmet need. The global indicators used to monitor progress in family planning have rights at the heart of them. But the survey responses used to estimate the indicators are influenced by socially embedded preferences. It has been well documented that family planning services brings many benefits to those who use them. By focusing on externalities, we see that they bring benefits to others as well. Those additional benefits should be included in the design of social policies.

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Post-meeting Reflection

Aisha Dasgupta (United Nations) Link to the source page

Loved learning how demographers, philosophers, anthropologists, economists, ecologists, scientists... approach the subject, and the breadth of work taking place from these different fields.

I was struck by the need to be able to produce decent estimates of the return on investment of family planning.

Reference Material

Title Author name Source name Year Citation count From Scopus. Refreshed every 5 days. Page views Related file
Socially Embedded Preferences, Environmental Externalities, and Reproductive Rights Aisha Dasgupta, Partha Dasgupta Population and Development Review 2017 11 12