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The Damocles Malthusian sword

De Pin, Antonio (2015): The Damocles Malthusian sword. Published in: Intersezioni , Vol. 65, No. 65 (1 July 2015): pp. 1-5.

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Abstract

Demand for food constant increases, according to the growth in population and income. These levels of consumption, never occurred in the past, projecting the world to unknown cenarios, soon called to have to test the validity of the slaw of Malthus and its consequences. While there are questions on the supply side capabilities to meet the demand instances, agriculture becomes the main factor of development of the economy. This leads us to outline the main developmental patterns of food consumption, increasingly exercising their influence over the entire planet. Empirical evidence shows that, after a past decline, the prices of the agricultural products present an uptrend to a set of causes. The stock variations become a significant evolutionary variable of price expectations. In their contraction, there is an increase in systemic risk. In a similar evolutionary pattern, it becomes relevant the question if there is the chance of adapting to the eventual manifestation of scarcity, or if it appears, sooner or later, unavoidable. The emergence of an excess of marginal demand could have direct effects on prices. Some shock factor (environmental, health, war, etc.) could result in famine phenomena.

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