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A labourer carries a sack of cabbages after unloading it from a supply truck at a vegetable wholesale market in Mumbai September 16, 2013.
A labourer carries a sack of cabbages after unloading it from a supply truck at a vegetable wholesale market in Mumbai September 16, 2013.
(Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

CARL MORTISHED

What if the problem isn't overpopulation, but the opposite?

ROB Insight is a premium commentary product offering rapid analysis of business and economic news, corporate strategy and policy, published throughout the business day. Visit the ROB Insight homepage for analysis available only to subscribers.

Noise about the population peril is getting louder. Whether the subject is feeding the planet or fuelling the planet, or even wrecking the planet with carbon emissions, the seed of worry that underlies the general anxiety is demographic expansion. We believe that there are just too many people, especially in poorer countries – but what if the reverse were true? What if the main problem that the global economy will face in 2050 is not starving millions but a shortage of workers? What if the great population crisis on the horizon is not an explosion but an implosion?