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Escaping the Repugnant Conclusion: Rank-discounted Utilitarianism with Variable Population

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Author Info

  • Asheim, Geir B.

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Zuber, Stephane

    ()
    (CERSES)

Abstract

Evaluation of climate policies and other issues requires a variable population setting where population is endogenously determined. We propose and axiomatize the rank-discounted critical-level utilitarian social welfare order. It is shown to ll out the space between critical-level utilitarianism and (a version of) critical-level leximin. Moreover, it satis fies many conditions and principles used to evaluate variable population criteria. In particular, it avoids the repugnant conclusion even when the critical level is zero.

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File URL: https://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2012/memo-23-2012.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 23/2012.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 31 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2012_023

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Email:
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Keywords: Social evaluation; population ethics; critical-level utilitarianism; social discounting;

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References

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  1. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 2000. "Population Principles with Number-Dependent Critical Levels," Working Papers 2000-06, Rice University, Department of Economics.
  2. Palivos, Theodore & Yip, Chong K., 1993. "Optimal population size and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 107-110.
  3. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-20, November.
  4. Zuber, Stéphane & Asheim, Geir B., 2012. "Justifying social discounting: The rank-discounted utilitarian approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1572-1601.
  5. Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005. "Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521532587, October.
  6. 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.
  7. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
  8. Blackorby, C. & Rossert, W. & Donaldson, D., 1994. "Leximin Population Ethics," Working Papers 9412, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
  9. Carlson, Erik, 1998. "Mere Addition and Two Trilemmas of Population Ethics," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(02), pages 283-306, October.
  10. Broome, John, 2004. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199243761.
  11. Geir B. Asheim, 2010. "Intergenerational Equity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 197-222, 09.
  12. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1989. "What Should We Do About Future Generations?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 235-253, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Geir B. Asheim & Stéphane Zuber, 2014. "Probability Adjusted Rank-Discounted Utilitarianism," CESifo Working Paper Series 4728, CESifo Group Munich.

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