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Seminar Series: Population, Poverty, and Climate Change

Monica Das Gupta, Research Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Maryland
When Nov 04, 2013
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 0124B Cole Student Activities Building
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Talk

While developed countries are largely responsible for global warming, the brunt of the fallout will be borne by the developing world in lower agricultural output, poorer health, and more frequent natural disasters. Carbon emissions in the developed world have leveled off, but are projected to rise rapidly in the developing world due to their economic growth and population growth – the latter most notably in the poorest countries. Lowering fertility has many benefits for the poorest countries. Studies indicate that, in high fertility settings, fertility decline facilitates economic growth and poverty reduction. It also reduces the pressure on livelihoods, and frees up resources to cope with climate change. And it helps avert some of the projected global warming, which will benefit these countries far more than those that lie at higher latitudes and/or have more resources to cope with climate change. Natural experiments indicate that family planning programs are effective in helping reduce fertility, and that they are highly pro-poor in their impact. While the rest of the world wrestles with the complexities of reducing emissions, the poorest countries will gain much from simple programs to lower fertility.

About the Speaker

Monica DasGupta

Monica Das Gupta is an anthropologist and demographer whose work deals with various aspects of population, poverty, and development. Starting with extensive village-level research, she worked on child health, including an apparent tendency for child deaths to cluster in a few households; the community-level factors that encourage circular migration; and the ways in which communities respond to population pressure. Building on this field experience, she has studied how family systems shape the life chances of different categories of household members - including studying the causes and consequences of gender differentials in health outcomes in Asia, and the household regulation of marriage and childbearing. More recently, she has also worked on public goods in health, focusing on public health systems to reduce a population’s exposure to disease. This has included studying the institutional design of successful models of low-cost preventive public health systems in South Asia and other developing countries.

She is currently working on the implications of China’s upcoming marriage squeeze for the social protection needs of future aging bachelors; the organization of preventive public health services in Sri Lanka; and a review of the literature on population, poverty, and sustainable development.  

Visit Professor Das Gupta's webpage 

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