Life Quantity, Life Quality and Longevity : an Intertemporal Social Evaluation framework
AbstractThe evaluation of development processes and of public policies often involves comparisons of social states in which populations differ in size and longevity. This requires social evaluation principles to be sensitive to both the number and the length of lives. This paper explores the use of axiomatic and welfarist principles to assess social welfare in that framework. It attempts to overcome some of the limits of existing methods in the literature, in particular by avoiding a temporal repugnant conclusion, by neither penalizing nor favoring life fragmentation, and by satisfying critical-level temporal consistency. It does this by characterizing a critical-level lifetime utility function that values life periodically. To address some of the controversies on discounting utilities across time, two alternative versions of the function are developed, one with discounting and one without.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1315.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Intertemporal social evaluation; population ethics; critical-level utilitarianism; lifetime utility; social discounting;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
- J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2013-06-30 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2013-06-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2013-06-30 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2013-06-30 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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