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Rationalizable solutions to pure population problems

  • Walter Bossert


    (Department of Economics, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK)

  • David Donaldson

    (Department of Economics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z1)

  • Charles Blackorby

    (Department of Economics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z1)

In pure population problems, a single resource is to be distributed equally among the agents in a society, and the social planner chooses population size(s) and per-capita consumption(s) for each resource constraint and set of feasible population sizes within the domain of the solution. This paper shows that a weak condition regarding the possible choice of a zero population is necessary and sufficient for the rationalizability of a solution by a welfarist social ordering. In addition, solutions that are rationalized by critical-level generalized utilitarianism are characterized by means of a homogeneity property.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 16 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 395-407

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:16:y:1999:i:3:p:395-407
Note: Received: 1 December 1997/Accepted: 26 February 1998
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  1. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Internal Consistency of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 495-521, May.
  2. Sen, Amartya K, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(115), pages 307-17, July.
  3. Lensberg, Terje, 1987. "Stability and Collective Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 935-61, July.
  4. Baigent, Nick & Gaertner, Wulf, 1996. "Never Choose the Uniquely Largest: A Characterization," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 239-49, August.
  5. Bossert, Walter, 1994. "Rational choice and two-person bargaining solutions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 549-563, November.
  6. Peters Hans & Wakker Peter, 1994. "WARP Does Not Imply SARP for More Than Two Commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 152-160, February.
  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. Peters, Hans & Wakker, Peter, 1991. "Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives and Revealed Group Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1787-1801, November.
  9. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2006. "Population Ethics," Cahiers de recherche 2006-15, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    • BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2006. "Population Ethics," Cahiers de recherche 14-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
  10. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Blackorby, C. & Bossert, W. & Donaldson, D., 1993. "Multi-Valued Demand and Rational Choice in the two- Commodity Case," Working Papers 9309, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
  13. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1996. "Leximin population ethics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 115-131, April.
  14. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-20, November.
  15. Bossert, W., 1995. "Choices, Consequences, and Rationality," Working Papers 9501, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
  16. Bossert, Walter, 1993. "Continuous Choice Functions and the Strong Axiom of Revealed Preference," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 379-85, April.
  17. Bossert, Walter, 1990. "Social evaluation with variable population size: an alternative concept," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 143-158, April.
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