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Old 06-28-2017, 11:51 PM   #1
David Johnston2
 
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Default The Benefits of Overpopuation

At what point will overpopulation actually start to reduce the economic volume of the planet as a whole? Exceeding the Carrying Capacity will reduce the average income of the inhabitants, but more inhabitants will still mean that that Economic Value is still going up even as individuals become more miserable. Where's the point of diminishing returns?
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Old 06-29-2017, 01:19 AM   #2
whswhs
 
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Default Re: The Benefits of Overpopuation

In the GURPS Space rules, you figure the per capita income (PCI) based on all factors other than population. Then you adjust, by multiplying by carrying capacity and dividing by actual population:

PCI* = PCI x CC / pop.

Now, to get total income, you multiply per capita income by population:

Y = PCI* x pop
= (PCI x CC / pop) x pop
= PCI x CC x pop / pop
= PCI x CC,

which is a constant. In other words, overpopulation is not assumed in this model to have any effect on planetary economic output; it's purely a cultural choice.

Note that this implies that when you're above carrying capacity, the added people contribute nothing to the economy. I suppose you could take that as a definition of "carrying capacity" for this purpose.

I don't think this can be taken as an accurate economic model; at best it's "close enough for GMing work."
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:59 AM   #3
ericthered
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Default Re: The Benefits of Overpopuation

"At best close enough for GMing work" is probably accurate.

If you want to break it, mess around with the two assumptions it makes:

  1. Wealth is about resources.
  2. There is not way to get more resources than the sustainable amount the planet provides.
The classic way to break both of them is with interstellar trade: We're an research world that imports everything from other worlds and sells high technology. Or the capital. Or a manufacturing hub. Or all three of those at the same time.
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Old 06-29-2017, 12:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Benefits of Overpopuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
At what point will overpopulation actually start to reduce the economic volume of the planet as a whole? Exceeding the Carrying Capacity will reduce the average income of the inhabitants, but more inhabitants will still mean that that Economic Value is still going up even as individuals become more miserable. Where's the point of diminishing returns?
That is considerably modified by the inventive capacity of humans. Much population theory seems to assume humans are donkeys and that the addition of more humans provides only arithmatic contribution to production rather then the geometric contribution that appears when mental capacity is factored. This of course assumes said mental capacity is given reasonable cultivation.

Historically success of the institution of points out that the ability to provide intensely for goods and services that cannot be provided in scattered settlements well makes up for the intense population.
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Old 06-29-2017, 12:47 PM   #5
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: The Benefits of Overpopuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
"At best close enough for GMing work" is probably accurate.

If you want to break it, mess around with the two assumptions it makes:

  1. Wealth is about resources.
  2. There is not way to get more resources than the sustainable amount the planet provides.
The classic way to break both of them is with interstellar trade: We're an research world that imports everything from other worlds and sells high technology. Or the capital. Or a manufacturing hub. Or all three of those at the same time.
Resources are what sophants define them to be. Most of what we define as resources would be unnecessary to hunter-gatherers or even primitive agriculturalists. What the heck do bedouin care about jellied dinosaur corpses?
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Old 06-29-2017, 01:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Benefits of Overpopuation

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
That is considerably modified by the inventive capacity of humans. Much population theory seems to assume humans are donkeys and that the addition of more humans provides only arithmatic contribution to production rather then the geometric contribution that appears when mental capacity is factored. This of course assumes said mental capacity is given reasonable cultivation.
GURPS actually represents that, but in a different way: As TL advances.
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