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Chapter 3 is about population size and density. After showing the importance of city size, the chapter reviews low-density cities and voluntary camps, and then introduces the domain of settlement scaling theory
Estimating the population parameters, performance and factors that influence reproduction from long-term, individual-based monitoring data is the gold standard for effective wildlife management and conservation. Yet this information is often difficult and costly to collect or inaccessible to managers. We synthesized a 20-year set of individual-based monitoring data from a subset of black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis subpopulations across a range of environmental conditions in Namibia. Our findings demonstrate that despite the relatively arid landscape in Namibia, the black rhinoceros metapopulation is performing well, measured by age at first reproduction, inter-birth interval, population growth and survivorship. Information-theoretic modelling revealed that a univariate model including normalized differential vegetative index had a greater influence upon age at first reproduction than population density. The inter-birth interval model set identified cumulative rainfall during the 15 months prior to the birth month as the top model, although the mean normalized differential vegetative index during the inter-birth interval was comparable. There was little evidence for density-dependence effects on reproduction. These findings suggest that although browse quality could have a greater impact on parameters spanning multiple years, shorter-term parameters could be more influenced by rainfall. Our analysis also revealed a synchronous pattern of conceptions occurring in the rainy season. Our study provides a set of population parameter estimates for Namibian black rhinoceros subpopulations and preliminary insights on factors driving their reproduction. These expand our collective knowledge of global black rhinoceros population dynamics and improve our confidence and capability to adaptively manage the black rhinoceros metapopulation of Namibia.
Chapter 2 introduces a model Islamic constitution. Using this model constitution, it empirically illustrates the universe of constitutional Islamization, providing data on which countries and regions have adopted constitutional Islam and in what form. It also ranks these countries in an index according to their Islamicity and then observes how the incidence of all forms of Islam in a constitution correlates with demography, geography, colonialism, and human rights.
This study uses Trivers-Willard hypothesis to explain the differences in daughters’ and sons’ educational outcomes by parental background. According to the Trivers-Willard hypothesis (TWH), parental support and investments for sons and daughters display an asymmetrical relationship according to parental status because of the different reproductive advantage of the sexes. It predicts that high-status parents support sons more than daughters, and low-status parents support daughters more than sons. In modern societies, where education is the most important mediator of status, the TW hypothesis predicts that sons from high-status families will achieve higher educational outcomes than daughters. Using cohorts born between 1987 and 1997 from the reliable full population Finnish register data that contain the data of over 600.000 individuals, children’s educational outcomes were measured using data on school dropout rate, academic grade point average (GPA), and general secondary enrollment in their adolescence. OLS and sibling fixed-effect regression that permitted an examination of opposite-sex siblings’ educational outcomes within the same family were applied. Sons with high family income and parental education, compared to daughters of the same family, have lower probability of dropping out of school and are more likely to enroll into academic secondary school track. In families with low parental education or income daughters have lower probability for school dropout and enroll more likely to academic school track related to sons of the same family. The effect of family background by sex can be interpreted to support TWH in dropout and academic school track enrollment but not in GPA.
We build on the model of Chapter 3 to explain how sedentism could have developed in response to better climate conditions involving higher means and lower variances for temperature and rainfall. Sedentism is defined to mean a willingness of human populations to stay at the same site for multiple generations despite occasional periods of low productivity in relation to other sites. We identify three causal channels leading to sedentism. First, there is a short-run channel where climate improvement leads agents to remain at sites when weather there is temporarily bad, because when conditions are harsh, they are less harsh than they were under the previous climate regime. Second, there is a long-run channel where better climate leads to higher regional population. This causes some people to remain at sites where weather is temporarily bad because sites with good weather are now more heavily occupied than before. Finally, there is a very-long-run channel where higher regional population leads to the use of previously latent resources and technological innovation. These mechanisms help to explain the rise of large sedentary communities in southwest Asia during the Epi-Paleolithic and in Japan during the early Holocene.
Chapter 3 tests our theory against the historical record. It introduces readers to a few contentious episodes in recent Ukrainian history, focusing on three major crises between 1991 and 2014. Our analytic narrative emphasizes that Russian-speaking communities can embrace “the Russian narrative” at critical junctures theatrically, in order to maximize their bargaining leverage or demonstrate an ability to destabilize Ukrainian national politics, and then be bought off. In each of three case studies, we document Russian-speaking elites bargaining in strikingly similar ways: provoking crises at the center, knowing that Russias military casts a shadow over regional bargaining dynamics. The Party of Regions is described as a machine for aggregating preferences across multiple constituencies with a strong base in the Donbas – the primary driver of the controversial language law of 2012.
Population dynamics are central to any theory of economic prehistory. This chapter explains the Malthusian framework widely used by economists. We rely on these ideas throughout the book. The exposition is graphical and should be accessible to non-economists. We define a production function and the average and marginal products of labor. With fixed natural resources and a fixed technology, food per person decreases as the population of a geographic area increases. Decreasing food per person tends to lower fertility and raise mortality. These demographic effects yield an equilibrium with a stable long-run population. If technology improves, food per person rises at a given population level. In the short run this raises the standard of living for the existing population, but in the long run, population growth brings the standard of living back down to its previous level. The main implication is that in the long run, technological innovation or a better climate raises population but not living standards. We discuss the relationship of these ideas to the concepts of migration, carrying capacity, population density, and population pressure. We conclude with a review of empirical evidence supporting the relevance of Malthusian models for pre-industrial societies.
This chapter constructs a theory about the origins of inequality. Our model involves a continuum of sites that have differing productivities with respect to food. All sites are initially open, and free mobility of agents across sites tends to equalize the food incomes of the agents. However, an organized group that is large enough relative to the land area of a site can establish property rights over that site and keep other agents from entering. As climate or technology improves, population densities grow, and over time the best sites become closed. This generates insider–outsider inequality, where different groups have different standards of living depending on the productivities of their sites. Eventually insiders at the best sites find it profitable to hire outsiders to work on their land, either by paying them a wage or requiring them to pay land rent. This gives elite–commoner inequality, or stratification. Class positions become hereditary. Technical progress makes commoners worse off in the long run because as regional population rises, more sites are closed. The sites that remain open are the least desirable. These predictions are consistent with archaeological evidence from southwest Asia, Europe, Polynesia, and the Channel Islands of California.
Tasmanian devils are endangered due to an infectious clonal cancer that has reduced populations by up to 80 per cent since it first arose in 1996. As part of a management strategy for the species, an island population was established through an assisted colonisation event on Maria Island National Park. The original scope of the Maria Island population was to establish and maintain a disease-free population of devils. The island is now used as a source site for these trial releases of devils to mainland Tasmania populations. The 2012 release cohort to the island had a high degree of relatedness. However, through dedicated management strategies, including contraception and selective harvesting, this situation has been rectified and the Maria Island population now represents a genetically diverse group. Monitoring, using traditional methods of trapping and camera traps, in addition to genetic monitoring, has been essential to the establishment and maintenance of the Maria Island population.
Chapter 2 focuses on who service magicians were. As with Chapter 1, there is an element of statistical analysis as we endeavour to ascertain who a ‘typical’ service magician might be. The broad conclusion reached is that service magicians were diverse in terms of gender, occupation, and, as far as we can tell, age, though if the demographics are broken down by type of magic practised, some patterns do emerge. The second section of this chapter looks at the economics of magic: in short, how it worked as a service, and what sort of income a magician might expect. In doing so, we learn something of the financial state of sorcerers. The chapter concludes with a case study of Westminster, through which it is possible to gain an idea of how magic sat alongside other trades in a microcosmic service economy.
Cousin marriage, a spousal union between close kin, occurs at high frequencies in many parts of the world. The rates of cousin marriage in humans are concordant with empirical studies that challenge the traditionally held view that reproduction with kin is generally avoided in animals. Similarly, some theoretical models in animal behaviour show that inbreeding avoidance is more constrained than previously thought. Such studies highlight the importance of quantifying the costs and benefits of reproduction among close kin over the whole life-course. Here, we use genealogical data from two human populations with high frequencies of cousin marriage (the Dogon from Mali, and the Ancien Régime nobility from Europe) to estimate these potential costs and benefits. We compare age-specific fertility and survival curves, as well as the projected growth rates, of subpopulations of each marriage type. Fitness costs of cousin marriage are present in terms of reduced child survival (in both populations), while benefits exist as increased fertility for men (in the Dogon) and for women (in the Ancien Régime nobility). We also find some differences in the projected growth rates of lineages as a function of marriage type. Finally, we discuss the trade-offs that might shape marriage decisions in different ecological conditions.
The final chapter discusses the long-term prospects for the Earth, including demographic changes that are likely to have important long-term implications for humanity, such as the overall decrease in the birth rate, the trends towards increasing literacy, and the importance of educating and empowering women as a factor in the economic progression of societies (perhaps the strongest predictor of economic success in a society). It reviews some of the confounding influences retarding world progression (e.g. our inherent bias towards short-term decision-making, especially in the context of debates over responses to climate change), and how some societies have helped address them successfully. In general, much of human history is the struggle between our impulses and our intellect, and there are innumerable instances of historical ‘failure’, but trends generally point towards improved economics and human rights over the long-term arc of human history.
The transition from a foraging lifestyle to structured political systems is one of the most momentous changes in the history of our species. This chapter reviews the various parameters that changed as a result of the transition to agriculture, including health, wealth, and power structures. There are a considerable number of debates over this transition, as researchers studying health, violence, political and personal power, and gender equity have studied it, with significant political implications in disciplines such as anthropology, economics, political science, and gender studies.
Hieradoumian tombstones – very unusually for Greek-language epitaphs – typically give the precise date of death in the format year, month, and day, and age at death is also very often specified. As a result, we have a large body of data for analyzing demographic patterns in the region. This chapter analyzes Hieradoumian patterns of seasonal mortality, broken down by sex and age. The results show both similarities and differences with other comparable datasets from other parts of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean. Infants and young children are heavily under-represented in the funerary record, as are (to a lesser extent) women. Since votive inscriptions are also often precisely dated, it is likewise possible to gain some sense of dominant seasonal patterns of religious activity in Roman Hieradoumia. The large number of dated epitaphs from the second-century AD allows us to trace the impact of the Antonine Plague in western Asia Minor; the chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the pathogens which may have shaped ‘normal’ seasonal mortality patterns in the region.
Our conception of the culture and values of the ancient Greco-Roman world is largely based on texts and material evidence left behind by a small and atypical group of city-dwellers. The people of the deep Mediterranean countryside seldom appear in the historical record from antiquity, and almost never as historical actors. This book is the first extended historical ethnography of an ancient village society, based on an extraordinarily rich body of funerary and propitiatory inscriptions from a remote upland region of Roman Asia Minor. Rural kinship structures and household forms are analysed in detail, as are the region's demography, religious life, gender relations, class structure, normative standards and values. Roman north-east Lydia is perhaps the only non-urban society in the Greco-Roman world whose culture can be described at so fine-grained a level of detail: a world of tight-knit families, egalitarian values, hard agricultural labour, village solidarity, honour, piety and love.
Chapter 6 presents data about the first members of our own species, Homo sapiens, and how they lived and shared the planet with at least five other species of Homo. It presents the cultural succession of the Upper Paleolithic and the repercussions that our species had on the planet and other life forms as members spread out into virgin territories of the world.
Chapter 11 examines human migrations through time – past, present and future. It explains how what we learn from human prehistory is useful for dealing with the problems of racism and nationalism plaguing humanity in today’s world.
Although significant progress has been made in dealing with ancient economies through the establishing of new methodological approaches (like the New Institutional Economics), old-school Political Economy still plays an important role. It endeavours among other things to describe and evaluate the causes which lead to economic growth, thereby including factors which cannot be subsumed under the category of ‘institutions’ (exclusively focused on by the NIE) like demography or climate. Recently, this traditional approach has been intensively adopted to explain and measure the growth of ancient Greek economies between the ninth and fourth centuries, today viewed as an established fact in contrast to the older consensus, which was characterised by scepticism regarding the capability of ancient societies to generate sustainable growth. This chapter presents the most important factors that were (supposedly) conducive to growth and describes and their mutual interplay and interferences. In a further section, some methodological and empirical problems of the way 'ancient growth' is quantified in contemporary research are discussed. In a final section, some thoughts are offered on geo-economic factors, assumed by the author to have had a decisive impact in bringing about 'growth' or concentrations of wealth in some areas and milieus.
In this chapter, I emphasise and try to explain the importance of historical demography for economic history, but also its relative neglect by ancient historians until very recently. Demography involves a range of quantitative measures that are useful both as proxies for economic performance and in comparison. Population sizes and trends also have explanatory power for past economic changes. Some general points about the relationship between population and economy, and what changed and what stayed the same over the last millennium BCE are followed by some more specific observations about the major periods of Greek history. The importance of environmental factors is particularly emphasised, and urbanization is a persistent theme.
The historiography of the twentieth-century refugee typically unfolds as a tale of national displacement followed by international surrogate protection. This article challenges that narrative by reframing the modern refugee as an emerging category of statistics and demography. Focusing on the world’s first international refugee survey, which was led by former British colonial administrator John Hope Simpson in 1937–39, the article situates the attempt to count and classify refugees across borders within scientific debates on global population control and white resettlement. While refugees’ mobility initially eluded established parameters of national demographic measurement, Hope Simpson drew on precedents of census work and migration schemes within the British Empire to counter their unpredictability. Revealing how the tenet of colonial demography shaped mid-century views on the ‘refugee problem’, the article broadens the space of refugee history beyond nation states and international institutions and emphasizes the relevance of statistics in turning refugees into a global post-war category.