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Robert Cassen, professor at the Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics, seeks in this paper to explain the role of population growth in economic development and environmental change. Professor Cassen argues that the role of population is best understood as a long-term underlying factor which influences the scale and composition of demand for goods, services and resources, as well as the supply of labor. How demands are met, and how useful more labor is, are functions of innumerable influences, including the economy, technology, markets (or lack of markets), social structure and social conditions, property rights, politics, law and institutions. One can point to aspects of development that are strongly population driven, and disentangle others which are not, but where population has a significant influence. Professor Cassen concentrates on such an approach, illustrating the general case from the Indian experience.