For now I will just say I find some of the feedback I get rather curious.One Afoe commenter said he found the demography story 'just too pat', others say they doubt you can explain 'everything' using demography, or that you can't 'put it all down to demographics'. With respect - although of course we would need a closer inspection of the meaning of the terms <
Of course, looking at this the other way round, transitional demographic dynamics plus the law of large numbers do explain quite a big chunk of it, which again is no mean feat. As to the 'too pat' bit, whoever decided that things had to be incredibly complicated? I would have thought Occam's razor rather lead us in the other direction. Einstein suggested we make things simple, but cautioned against oversimplifying, so the trick is to get them just simple enough. Sometimes the beauty lies in the simplicity, and the hardest things to see are the simplest ones. Nature is resplendent in its variety, but Darwin's mechanism is - at the end of the day - off-puttingly simple.