Economic aspects of human cloning and reprogenetics
AbstractWhile most discussions of human cloning start and end with ethics, this paper analyses the economics of human cloning. I analyse the incentives for cloning and its implications for the long-run distribution of skills and income. I discuss models of human cloning for different motives, focusing on those that tend to produce new human beings with improved ability. I distinguish three cases: cloning as a means of assisted reproduction for infertile couples, cloning by fertile couples aimed at producing high ability offspring and, finally, financially motivated cloning. The third case supposes that the creator of a clone can appropriate some fraction of the clone's future income. Even if this fraction is small, the possibility of producing exceptionally talented clones with correspondingly high incomes might make it profitable, and thus turn cloning into a form of financial investment. An important consequence of these models is that to the extent that ability is genetically determined and cloners prefer to make high-ability clones, cloning will act as a form of what might be called 'unnatural selection'. Following standard Darwinian logic, such selection will tend to increase the proportion of high ability people in society. Indeed, under some assumptions the distribution of ability eventually converges to a mass point at the highest possible ability level. Under weaker assumptions, it is shown that ability-reducing genes are eventually eliminated. These results do not depend on cloning displacing sexual reproduction or even being widespread; they hold even if a small, or even negligible number of top ability workers are cloned at a small (but not negligible) number of copies. The paper discusses the plausibility of the models and their results in light on the evidence on marriage markets, child selection, human assisted reproduction and animal husbandry. Finally, it is shown how the analysis can be used to help formulate policies toward cloning, whether they aim at preventing it or managing its external effects. Copyright (c) CEPR, CES, MSH, 2003..
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.
Volume (Year): 18 (2003)
Issue (Month): 36 (04)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 2nd Floor, 53-56 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DG
Phone: +44 (0)20 7183 8801
Fax: +44 (0)20 7183 8820
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0266-4658
More information through EDIRC
Postal: Schackstr. 4, 80539 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 2180-2748
Fax: +49 (89) 39 73 03
Web page: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/ifoHome/f-about/f2aboutces
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Economic Aspects of Human Cloning and Reprogenetics," IZA Discussion Papers 608, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Economic Aspects of Human Cloning and Reprogenetics," CEPR Discussion Papers 3641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2002. "Economic Aspects of Human Cloning and Reprogenetics," IDEI Working Papers 157, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
- J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, .
"Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families,"
University of Chicago - Population Research Center
84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
- Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Esa Mangeloja, 2003. "Application of Economic Concepts on Religious Behavior," Others 0310003, EconWPA.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.