Survival, reproduction and congestion: the spaceship problem re-examined
AbstractThis paper re-examines the spaceship problem, i.e. the design of the optimal population under a fixed living space, by focusing on the dilemma between adding new beings and extending the life of existing beings. For that purpose, we characterize, under time-additive individual welfare depending negatively on population density, the preference ordering of a utilitarian social planner over lifetime-equal histories, i.e. histories with demographic conditions yielding an equal finite number of life-periods (imposed by resources constraints). The analysis of the spaceship problem contradicts widespread beliefs about the populationism of Classical Utilitarianism and the antipopulationism of Average Utilitarianism. We also study the invariance property exhibited by various utilitarian rankings to the total space available and to individual preferences. Finally, we compare histories for a spaceship with a stationary population, and try to accomodate intuitions about posterity and renewal of populations.
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 Springer in its journal Journal of Bioeconomics.
Volume (Year): 13 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=103315
Environmental congestion; Fertility; Longevity; Population ethics; Utilitarianism; Renewal; D63; Q56; Q57;
Other versions of this item:
- Pierre-André Jouvet & Grégory Ponthière, 2010. "Survival, reproduction and congestion: The spaceship problem re-examined," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564865, HAL.
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
- Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
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.:
- Broome, John, 2006.
Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702.
- Antoine Bommier, 2006.
"Uncertain Lifetime And Intertemporal Choice: Risk Aversion As A Rationale For Time Discounting,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1223-1246, November.
- Antoine Bommier, 2001. "Uncertain lifetime and intertemporal choice : risk aversion as a rationale for time discounting," Research Unit Working Papers 0108, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
- Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
- Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
- Manuel Gottlieb, 1945. "The Theory of Optimum Population for a Closed Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53, pages 289.
- Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005.
"Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521532587, April.
- Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005. "Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521825511, April.
- Bykvist, Krister, 2007. "The Good, The Bad, And The Ethically Neutral," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(01), pages 97-105, March.
- James,Patricia (ed.), 2008. "An Essay on the Principle of Population Real Author-Name:Malthus,T. R," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521071345, April.
- Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1986. "Social criteria for evaluating population change: An alternative to the Blackorby-Donaldson criterion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 375-381, April.
- James,Patricia (ed.), 1990. "An Essay on the Principle of Population 2 Volume Hardback Set Real Author-Name:Malthus,T. R," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521323611, April.
- Malthus, Thomas, 2008. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199540457 edited by Gilbert, Geoffrey.
- Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
- Victoria Cramer & Svenn Torgersen & Einar Kringlen, 2004. "Quality of Life in a City: The Effect of Population Density," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 103-116, October.
- James,Patricia (ed.), 2008. "T. R. Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population Real Author-Name:Malthus,T. R," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521071321, April.
- Crisp, Roger, 2007. "Neutrality And Pleasure," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(01), pages 81-88, March.
- Bentham, Jeremy, 1781. "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number bentham1781.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:reading lists or Wikipedia pages:Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) 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.