was nearly stable from 400 B.C. to about A.D. 1500, but populationrnbegan growing, reaching a rate of 0.6 percent a year, withrnthe end of the Mogul invasions, the restoration of peace, andrnthe stimulus of new trade opportunities. Southern hidia enjoyedrnparticular prosperity under the Vijayanagar kings. Thernstrongest of these, Krishna Deva Raya (1509-1530), is describedrn”as an early advocate of free trade.” According to A. Spaeth writingrnin the Wall Street journal, this king “imported velvets andrndamasks from Aden and China, horses from Arabia, elephantsrnfrom Ceylon, gold, silver . . . and precious gems.”rnEuropean trade offered hidia further opportunity by creatingrnmany jobs in new enterprises. Population growth acceleratedrnafter 1900, but the real takeoff came with independence inrn1947, as it was perceived that wealth being taken out of therncountry by the British would now devolve upon the Indian peoplernthemselves. n the following decades, the rate of growth accelerated,rnultimately reaching 2.3 percent annually.rnPart of the growth was due to lower mortality rates, but a majorrnportion was caused by higher fertility. DemographerrnMahinder Chaudry writes in Population and Environment thatrnbirths per woman rose from less than four in the 1930’s to approximatelyrnsix in the 1960’s.rnThe failure of a six-year program explicitly designed to lowerrnfertility by improving child survival and family health isrnalso revealing. In the I960’s, British physicians John Wyon andrnJ.E. Gordon provided a whole village with education, nutritionalrnsupplements, public health, direct medical care, and arnfamily-planning program. Eventually, everyone knew aboutrncontraception, villagers had positive attitudes toward the healthcarernproviders and family planning, and infant mortality hadrnplummeted. But the fertility rate stayed high. Further researchrnyielded one simple answer: Villagers were delighted that now,rnwith lower infant mortality, they could have the six childrenrnthat seemed to them the ideal family size.rnThe fertility rate in most Third World coimtries has begun torndecline, and developments concurrent with this decline are revealing.rnInternational aid progressively diminished after 1980,rnmore countries were cast on their own resources, other sourcesrnof foreign exchange (such as revenue from exports) collapsed,rnand the size of family farms diminished. People struggled to affordrnbenefits that had formerly been free and which they hadrncome to value. Kenyans, for example, had learned to value educationrnwhen it was a free good; by the 1990’s, families struggledrnto afford school fees and saw this expense as a reason to limitrnfamily size.rnThe Kenyan example suggests that foreign aid has had a perverserneffect in two ways. Initially, it encouraged a sense of expandingrnopportunity that stimulated childbearing. But havingrnraised expectations and aspirations, the withdrawal of aid hasrnhastened the decline in fertility by heightening many people’srnsense of deprivation. Ironically, scarcity is measured by deprivationrnof a good that had not, formerly, been wanted or valued.rnIf this means that foreign aid made the fertility rate decline afterrnall, one can only say that the mechanism is not what the optimistsrnhad predicted!rnIn Egypt, euphoria took hold in the late 1970’s due to a liberalizedrneconomy, cheap electricity from the High AswanrnDam, control over the Suez Canal, and annual U.S. paymentsrnpursuant to the Camp David accords. These developmentsrnwere accompanied by a rising fertility rate. But by the latern1980’s, optimism had given way to harsher realities. Covernmentrnrevenues had stagnated, Egypt was importing an increasingrnproportion of food, Cairo schools were so crowded that severalrnthree-hour shifts had to be crowded into a day, and underemploymentrnwas rife. College professors drove taxis, andrnteachers (who taught only one shift due to job sharing) eked outrna living as waiters. With a renewed sense of scarcity, Egyptiansrnhastily began to reduce their fertility rate.rnMany African countries that achieved historically high fertilityrnrates in the 1960’s and 70’s have seen declines. Erom therntime of independence in 1957, the Moroccan economy thrivedrnand fertility rates rose; fertility remained high so long as thernprice of phosphates was high and the government could subsidizernmany of the costs of child rearing, including education,rnhealth care, food, and housing. When phosphate prices collapsedrnin 1974-75, the economy reversed, and so did fertilityrnrates.rnSimilarly, the Nigerian economy boomed through the middlernI980’s as oil revenues and international loans poured in; fertilityrnrates reached historic highs. Ten years later, internationalrnlending agencies had retrenched, jobs were hard to find, morerneducation was required to get a job, parents perceived that it wasrnharder to keep children alive, and —no surprise—the fertilityrnrate began to fall. About two thirds of Nigerians questioned inrnone study spontaneously volunteered the information that lifernhad got harder, and this was their reason for delaying marriagernand childbearing.rnThe message is not that industrialized countries should inducernhardship in countries struggling to develop. The meaningrnof my research, rather, is that aid should not be the means ofrnmaking a bad situation worse. One should avoid creating expectationsrnthat prevent the decline in fertility rates that naturallyrnoccurs when a future-oriented sense of caution impels peoplernto delay marriage and to increase spacing between children.rnUnrealistically high expectations for the future —fueled inrnpart by foreign aid—were a stimulus to rising fertility rates forrnseveral decades after World War II. Covernment-sponsoredrnaid, concessionary loan rates, and loan forgiveness distort perceptionsrnabout international wealth and the wealth that can reasonablyrnbe transferred (that is, given away) from richer to poorerrnnations.rnFew countries have the resources to provide out of the publicrnpurse for large numbers of children. Foreign aid, except inrnshort-term crises, encourages Third World governments to relievernfamilies of many of the everyday costs of life. It subsidizesrnlarge families. Subsidies distort perceptions, leading to overconsumptionrnof goods (in this ease, children) and creating arncontinuing state of poverty from which few can hope to escape.rnChildbearing imposes costs, as humans have understood forrneons. Nothing should be allowed to impair the natural parentalrnpredisposition to weigh the value of having a child—and givingrnthis child the best possible start in life—against other desirablernor necessary uses for resources.rnDiscontinuation of most foreign aid would allow the returnrnof the usual human condition—perceived scarcity—and wouldrnencourage evaluation of alternatives, including childbearing, inrnterms of their true cost. The goal, worldwide, should be an unsubsidizedrnenvironment in which each family weighs the desirernfor children against other wants and needs. Such reality-testingrnwill lead eventiially to stability, or even reduction, in populationrnsize, so that the number of people remains comfortably withinrnthe carrying capacity of the environment.rn18/CHRONICLESrnrnrn