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Assessing Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion within a canonical endogenous growth set-up

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  • Raouf Boucekkine

    ()

  • Giorgio Fabbri

Abstract

Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion stipulates that under total utilitarianism, it might be optimal to choose increasing population size while consumption per capita goes to zero. We evaluate this claim within a canonical AK model with endogenous population size and a reduced form relationship between demographic and economic growth. First we characterize the optimal solution paths for any capital dilution function. Second, we prove that while the Repugnant Conclusion can never occur for realistic values of intertemporal substitution in the traditional linear dilution model, it does occur when population growth is linked to economic growth via an inverted U-shaped relationship. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 751-767

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:2:p:751-767

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Related research

Keywords: Parfit’s Repugnant conclusion; Endogenous population size; Intertemporal altruism; O41; I20; J10;

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References

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  1. Holger Strulik, 2001. "The Role of Human Capital and Population Growth in R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20109, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  2. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1985. "Population Size: Individual Choice and Social Optima," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 321-34, May.
  3. Alberto Bucci, 2007. "Population Growth in a Model of Economic Growth with Human Capital Accumulation and Horizontal R&D," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1049, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
  4. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
  5. Kelley, Allen C, 1988. "Economic Consequences of Population Change in the Third World," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1685-1728, December.
  6. Palivos, Theodore & Yip, Chong K., 1993. "Optimal population size and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 107-110.
  7. Allen Kelley & Robert Schmidt, 1995. "Aggregate population and economic growth correlations: The role of the components of demographic change," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 543-555, November.
  8. Razin, Assaf & Yuen, Chi-Wa, 1995. "Utilitarian Tradeoff between Population Growth and Income Growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 81-87, February.
  9. Kelley, Allen C. & Schmidt, Robert M., 1995. "Aggregate Population and Economic Growth Correlations: The Role of the Components of Demographic Change," Working Papers 95-37, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  10. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. Raouf Boucekkine & Giorgio Fabbri & Fausto Gozzi, 2012. "Egalitarism under Population Change. The Role of Growth and Lifetime Span," AMSE Working Papers 1211, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
  2. Raouf BOUCEKKINE & B. MARTINEZ & J. R. RUIZ-TAMARIT, 2011. "Growth vs. level effect of population change on economic development: An inspection into human-capital-related mechanisms," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011039, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

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