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An Impossibility Theorem for Welfarist Axiologies

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  • Arrhenius, Gustaf
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    Abstract

    A search is under way for a theory that can accommodate our intuitions in population axiology. The object of this search has proved elusive. This is not surprising since, as we shall see, any welfarist axiology that satisfies three reasonable conditions implies at least one of three counter-intuitive conclusions. I shall start by pointing out the failures in three recent attempts to construct an acceptable population axiology. I shall then present an impossibility theorem and conclude with a short discussion of how it might be extended to pluralist axiologies, that is, axiologies that take more values than welfare into account.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Economics and Philosophy.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 02 (October)
    Pages: 247-266

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:16:y:2000:i:02:p:247-266_00

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    Cited by:
    1. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 2001. "The Axiomatic Approach to Population Ethics," Discussion Paper, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University 24, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. BOSSERT, Walter, 2006. "Consistent Relations," Cahiers de recherche, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques 2006-03, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    3. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2006. "Population Ethics," Cahiers de recherche, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ 14-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    4. Ravi Kanbur & Diganta Mukherjee, 2007. "Premature Mortality And Poverty Measurement," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 339-359, October.
    5. Charles BLACKORBY & Walter BOSSERT & David DONALDSON, 2002. "Critical-Level Population Principles And The Repugnant Conclusion," Cahiers de recherche, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ 15-2002, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    6. Spataro, Luca & Renström, Thomas I., 2012. "Optimal taxation, critical-level utilitarianism and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 727-738.
    7. repec:ese:iserwp:2003-06 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Claudio Zoli, 2009. "Variable population welfare and poverty orderings satisfying replication properties," Working Papers, University of Verona, Department of Economics 69/2009, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    9. Thomas Renström & Luca Spataro, 2011. "The optimum growth rate for population under critical-level utilitarianism," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1181-1201, July.

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