Escaping the repugnant conclusion: rank-discounted utilitarianism with variable population
We contribute to population ethics by proposing and axiomatizing rank-discounted critical-level generalized utilitarianism (RDCLU). Population ethics is needed for evaluation of policies, e.g., concerning climate change, where population size depends on the chosen policy. We show that critical-level generalized utilitarianism and (a version of) critical-level leximin are the limits of RDCLU for extreme values of the rank utility discount factor. Moreover, we establish how RDCLU avoids serious objections raised against other variable population criteria. In particular, it escapes both the Repugnant Conclusion and the Very Sadistic Conclusion (one of which critical-level generalized utilitarianism fails for any critical level).
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- ZUBER, Stéphane, 2010.
"Justifying social discounting: the rank-discounted utilitarian approach,"
CORE Discussion Papers
2010036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- 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.
- Stéphane Zuber & Geir B. Asheim, 2010. "Justifying Social Discounting: The Rank-Discounted Utilitarian Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 3192, CESifo Group Munich.
- Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1996.
"Leximin population ethics,"
Mathematical Social Sciences,
Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 115-131, April.
- Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1989. "What Should We Do About Future Generations?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 235-253, October.
- Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005.
"Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521825511, November.
- 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, November.
- Carlson, Erik, 1998. "Mere Addition and Two Trilemmas of Population Ethics," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(02), pages 283-306, October.
- Broome, John, 2006.
Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702, December.
- Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 2000.
"Population Principles with Number-Dependent Critical Levels,"
2000-06, Rice University, Department of Economics.
- Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 2002. " Population Principles with Number-Dependent Critical Levels," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(3), pages 347-68.
- Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-20, November.
- Geir B. Asheim, 2010. "Intergenerational Equity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 197-222, 09.
- W. M. Gorman, 1968. "The Structure of Utility Functions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 367-390.
- Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
- Palivos, Theodore & Yip, Chong K., 1993. "Optimal population size and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 107-110.
- Razin, Assaf & Yuen, Chi-Wa, 1995. "Utilitarian Tradeoff between Population Growth and Income Growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 8(1), pages 81-87, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:the:publsh:1338. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martin J. Osborne)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.