Speciesism, altruism and the economics of animal welfare
Economists have long relied on utilitarian principles in carrying out cost–benefit analysis, but such utilitarianism is typically limited to the well-being of humans. Some prominent philosophers have argued such an approach is unjustifiably speciesist, but what are the consequences of including animal well-being in cost–benefit analysis? This paper considers this question in the context of human altruism towards animals in which people's concerns for the well-being of animals create an externality. After uncovering some conceptual challenges involved in carrying out cost–benefit analysis on animal welfare policies, we report the results of a novel experiment used to measure the public-good value of farm animal welfare, and show that although the average value in our sample is quite large, the result is due to the preferences of only a small subset of the subjects. , Oxford University Press.
Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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