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

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  • Raouf BOUCEKKINE

    ()
    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), CORE and University of Glasgow, Scotland)

  • Giorgio FABBRI

    ()
    (Dipartimento di Studi Economici S. Vinci, Universita di Napoli Parthenope)

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 fertility and a reduced form relationship between demographic growth and economic growth. While in the traditional linear dilution model, the Parfit Repugnant Conclusion can never occur for realistic values of intertemporal substitution, we show that it occurs when population growth is linked to economic growth via an inverted U-shaped relationship. Finally, we find moving from the Benthamite to the Millian social welfare function may not only cause optimal population size to go up and consumption to go down, it may also favor the realization of the Repugnant Conclusion.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2010025.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: 13 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2010025

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Keywords: Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion; AK models; endogenous fertility; intertemporal altruism;

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Cited by:
  1. Boucekkine, R. & Martínez, B. & Ruiz-Tamarit, J.R., 2013. "Growth vs. level effect of population change on economic development: An inspection into human-capital-related mechanisms," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 312-334.
  2. Raouf Boucekkine & Giorgio Fabbri & Fausto Gozzi, 2012. "Egalitarism under Population Change: The Role of Growth and Lifetime Span," Working Papers halshs-00793188, HAL.
  3. Raouf BOUCEKKINE & Giorgio FABBRI & Fausto GOZZI, 2011. "Life span and the problem of optimal population size," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011018, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

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