Escaping the Repugnant Conclusion: Rank-Discounted Utilitarianism with Variable Population
Evaluation of climate policies and other issues requires a variable population setting where population is endogenously determined. We propose and axiomatize the rank-discounted critical-level utilitarian social welfare order. It is shown to fill out the space between critical-level utilitarianism and (a version of) critical-level leximin. Moreover, it satisfies many conditions and principles used to evaluate variable population criteria. In particular, it avoids the repugnant conclusion even when the critical level is zero.
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