This week's discussion about predetermined elements and current conditions was done with Jiyao Zhang, with focus on demographic phenomenon.

Current Conditions and Predetermined Elements

  • Current Condition: Aging Society & Low Birthrate in developed countries (than underdeveloped countries)
  • Predetermined Elements:
    • Change in intention to have children and active birth control
    • Female labor participation
    • Lower infant fatality rate and longer lifespan

How the Current Conditions Map to the Future

  • Plausible Future Condition: Global migration in bigger scale that influences economic & social systems
  • Current Elements
    • More accessible and exposed to global info, which can result desire of migration and less attachment to nationality
    • Inequality within a country is higher than the one across countries
    • Gap is going to be bigger and bigger
    • Example: Investor visa; money = power to achieve desire
    • Example: Refugee Crisis, Chinese and Korean people who spend money overseas
    • If domestic opportunities grow, less migration? (Japan)
    • Developed countries become more active about accepting migrants due to their aging society and low birthrate, while natives’ preference doesn’t match their idea.

Example of bad predetermination:

  • An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Robert Malthus
    • Malthusian Trap
    • Published in 1798
    • Population increases yet food production doesn’t
    • Totalitarianism: decrease of low-income population to avoid overpopulation
    • Main problem: interpreting economy system only in biological aspects without considering industrial revolution and improvement in agriculture technology.


Increasingly, inequality within, not across, countries is rising

Inequality and development across and within countries