The Welfare Economics of Population
Intuition suggests there is no value in adding people to the population if it brings no benefits to people already living: creating people is morally neutral in itself. This paper examines the difficulties of incorporating this intuition into a coherent theory of the value of population. It takes three existing theories within welfare economics--average utilitarianism, relativist utilitarianism, and critical-level utilitarianism--and considers whether they can satisfactorily accommodate the intuition that creating people is neutral. Copyright 1996 by Royal Economic Society.
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Volume (Year): 48 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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