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BINGHAM UNIVERSITY

NAME: OGA-UHIA ARICHA CYNTHIA


MATRICULATION NO.: BHU/SMS/09/39220
DEPARTMENT: ECONOMICS
LEVEL: 200
COURSE/CODE: POPULATION ECONOMICS. ECO211
QUESTION: EXPLAIN ROBBINSâ DEFINATION OF ECONOMICS AND RELATE IT TO THE OPTIMUM POPU
LATION THEORY.
SUMMITED TO: MR. APKAN

INTRODUCTION
Lord Robbins who with the publication of his Nature and significance of Economic
s science in 1932 not only revealed the logical inconsistencies and inadequacies
of the earlier definitions but also formulated his own definition of economics.
According to Robbins â Economics is the science which studies human behavior as the
relationship between ends and scarce means which has alternative usesâ . This defini
tion is based on the following postulates.
1. Economics is related to one aspect of human behavior, of maximizing sati
sfaction from scarce resources.
2. Ends or want are scarce. When a particular want is satisfied others crop
up to take its place. Multiplicity of wants makes it imperative for human being
s to work ceaselessly for their satisfaction but they are useable to satisfy all
.
3. The obvious reason for the non-satisfaction of unlimited wants is the sc
arcity of means at the disposal of mankind. The time and means available for sat
isfying these ends are scarce or limited.
4. The scarce means are capable of alternative uses. Land is capable of bei
ng used for growing rice, sugarcane, wheat, maize, etc. at a time; the use of a
scarce resource for one can prevent its use for any other purpose.

5. The ends are of varying importance which necessarily leads to the proble
m of choice- of selecting the uses to which scarce resources can be put.
6. Economics is related to all kinds of behavior that involves the problem
of choice. This clearly distinguishes economics for technical, political, histor
ical or other aspects. The problem of how to build a college building with a giv
en resources is technical. But the problem of choosing the best combination of r
esources or the problem of allocating given building resources between an audito
rium, library, laboratory, lecture room, cycle-shed, canteen, is economic. Thus
economics is related to the valuation process which studies the production and d
istribution of goods and services for fulfillment the needs of mankind.
OPTIMUM THEORY POPULATION
The optimum theory of population is the ideal population which combined with oth
er available resources or means of production of the country will yield the maxi
mum returns or income per-head. The optimum population is that ideal size of pop
ulation which provides maximum income per-head. Any rise or diminution in the si
ze of the population above or below the optimum level will diminish income per-h
ead. Given the stock of natural resources, the technique of production and the s
tock of capital in a country, there is a definite size of population correspondi
ng to the highest per capita income. Other things being equal, any deviation fro
m the optimum- sized population will lead to a reduction in the per- capita inco
me. If the increase in the population is followed by the increase in per capita,
the country under- populated and it can afford to increase it population till i
t reaches the optimum level. On the contrary, if the increa
se in the population leads to diminution in the per capita income, the country i
s over-populated and needs a decline in the population till the per capital inco
me is maximized.
But the optimum level is not a fixed point. It changes in any of the factors ass
umed to be given. For instance, if there are improvements in the methods and tec
hniques of production, the output per head will rise and the optimum point will
shift upward. What the optimum point of a country is today may not be tomorrow i
f the stock of

Natural resources increases and the optimum point will be higher than before. T
hus the optimum is not fixed but a moveable point.
ROBBINS DEFINATION OF ECONOMICS AS RELATED TO OPTIMUM POPULATION THEORY
Scarcity definition of Robbins revealed the various want of human which have alt
ernative uses and as such does not contain vague expression as â material welfare and
material requisites of well-being.
Optimum population theory is the combination of various resources to make a popu
lation productive.
Robbins in his definition of optimum population defines it as â the population which
just makes the maximum returns possible.
When available resources are combined with the man- power and skills of the popu
lation, it follows that capital of a country increases, agricultural and industr
ial productivity increases and the means of transport develops. There is greater
mobility of labor, income increases, people get more and better quality food pr
oducts, and this is made possible as the result of the employment of the natural
resources and the working population. Whenever the ends are unlimited and the m
eans are scarce, they give rise to an economic problem, which can put the workin
g process of
The population on hold, which in turn affect the capital of the capital of the
country.
In conclusion, Robbinsâ s is wider because it takes the entire productive activities
in the economy in relation with the population. In other words, the availabilit
y of resources with the ideal size of population, thereby increasing the per-cap
ita income per-head.

Reference:
M.L JHINGAN. PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS
VRINDE PUBLICATION (P) LTD. 1998.

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