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Population Principles with Number-Dependent Critical Levels

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  • Blackorby, Charles

    (U of British Columbia and GREQAM)

  • Bossert, Walter

    (U of Nottingham and Rice U)

  • Donaldson, David

    (U of British Columbia)

Abstract

This paper introduces and characterizes the number-sensitive critical-level generalized utilitarian family of population principles which is a generalization of the critical-level generalized-utilitarian family. Number-sensitive critical-level utilitarian principles rank alternatives by using a value function that is equal to total utility minus a sum of critical levels that may depend on population size but not on individual utilities, and number-sensitive critical-level generalized-utilitarian principles use transformed utilities and critical levels. Ethical properties of the principles are investigated and the new family is compared to number-dampened generalized utilitarianism whose value functions are equal to transformed representative utility (average utility in the utilitarian case) multiplied by a function of population size.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rice University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2000-06.

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Date of creation: Feb 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:riceco:2000-06

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  1. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1997. "Critical-Level Utilitarianism and the Population-Ethics Dilemma," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 197-230, October.
  2. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 1996. "Quasi-orderings and population ethics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 129-150, April.
  4. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-20, November.
  5. Walter Bossert & David Donaldson & Charles Blackorby, 1998. "Uncertainty and critical-level population principles," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-20.
  6. Blackorby, C. & Bossert, W. & Donaldson, D., 1996. "Intertemporally Consistent Population Ethics: Birth-Date Dependent Classical Principles," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96a23, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  7. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1997. "Birth-Date Dependent Population Ethics: Critical-Level Principles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 260-284, December.
  8. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1989. "What Should We Do About Future Generations?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 235-253, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson & Marc Fleurbaey, 1998. "Critical levels and the (reverse) repugnant conclusion," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 1-15, February.
  11. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
  12. Sen, Amartya, 1974. "Informational bases of alternative welfare approaches : Aggregation and income distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 387-403, November.
  13. Carlson, Erik, 1998. "Mere Addition and Two Trilemmas of Population Ethics," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(02), pages 283-306, October.
  14. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-72, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Asheim, Geir B. & Zuber, Stéphane, 0. "Escaping the repugnant conclusion: rank-discounted utilitarianism with variable population," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.
  2. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2002. "Critical-Level Population Principles and the Repugnant Conclusion," Cahiers de recherche 2002-15, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  3. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2003. "Harsanyi’s Social Aggregation Theorem : A Multi-Profile Approach with Variable-Population Extensions," Cahiers de recherche 2003-05, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  4. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 2007. "Variable-population extensions of social aggregation theorems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 567-589, June.
  5. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2001. "The Axiomatic Approach to Population Ethics," Cahiers de recherche 2001-06, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  6. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2006. "Population Ethics," Cahiers de recherche 14-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  7. Claudio Zoli, 2009. "Variable population welfare and poverty orderings satisfying replication properties," Working Papers 69/2009, University of Verona, Department of Economics.

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