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Population Principles with Number-Dependent Critical Levels

  • Blackorby, Charles

    (U of British Columbia and GREQAM)

  • Bossert, Walter

    (U of Nottingham and Rice U)

  • Donaldson, David

    (U of British Columbia)

This paper introduces and characterizes the number-sensitive critical-level generalized utilitarian family of population principles which is a generalization of the critical-level generalized-utilitarian family. Number-sensitive critical-level utilitarian principles rank alternatives by using a value function that is equal to total utility minus a sum of critical levels that may depend on population size but not on individual utilities, and number-sensitive critical-level generalized-utilitarian principles use transformed utilities and critical levels. Ethical properties of the principles are investigated and the new family is compared to number-dampened generalized utilitarianism whose value functions are equal to transformed representative utility (average utility in the utilitarian case) multiplied by a function of population size.

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File URL: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~econ/papers/2000papers/06Bossert.pdf
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Paper provided by Rice University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2000-06.

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Date of creation: Feb 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:riceco:2000-06
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  1. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson & Marc Fleurbaey, 1998. "Critical levels and the (reverse) repugnant conclusion," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 1-15, February.
  2. Blackorby, C. & Bossert, W. & Donaldson, D., 1996. "Intertemporally Consistent Population Ethics: Birth-Date Dependent Classical Principles," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96a23, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  3. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-20, November.
  4. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1989. "What Should We Do About Future Generations?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 235-253, October.
  5. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-72, October.
  6. Sen, Amartya, 1974. "Informational bases of alternative welfare approaches : Aggregation and income distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 387-403, November.
  7. Blackorby, C. & Bossert, W. & Donalson, D., 1995. "Birth-Date Dependent Population Ethics: Critical-Level Principles," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 95a24, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  8. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 1996. "Quasi-orderings and population ethics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 129-150, April.
  9. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1997. "Critical-Level Utilitarianism and the Population-Ethics Dilemma," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 197-230, October.
  10. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Carlson, Erik, 1998. "Mere Addition and Two Trilemmas of Population Ethics," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(02), pages 283-306, October.
  12. 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.
  13. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
  14. Walter Bossert & David Donaldson & Charles Blackorby, 1998. "Uncertainty and critical-level population principles," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-20.
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