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Egalitarism under Population Change: The Role of Growth and Lifetime Span

  • Raouf Boucekkine

    ()

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales, IRES-CORE - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Giorgio Fabbri

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Studi Economici S. Vinci - Universita degli studi di Napoli "Parthenope" [Napoli])

  • Fausto Gozzi

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali - Libera Università INTERNAZIONALE DEGLI STUDI SOCIALI G. CARLI)

We study the compatibility of the optimal population size concepts produced by different social welfare functions and egalitarism meant as "equal consumption for all individuals of all generations". Social welfare functions are parameterized by an altruism parameter generating the Benthamite and Millian criteria as polar cases. The economy considered is in continuous time and is populated by homogenous cohorts with a given life span. Production functions are linear in labor, (costly) procreation is the unique way to transfer resources forward in time. First, we show that egalitarism is optimal whatever the degree of altruism when life spans are infinite. That is egalitarism does not discriminate between the social welfare functions considered. However, when life spans are finite, egalitarism does not arise systematically as an optimal outcome. In particular, it depends on the degree of altruism, and also on the magnitude of the life span. In particular, to be enforced in a growing economy, that is when population growth is optimal in the long-run, this egalitarian rule can only hold when (i) the welfare function is Benthamite, (ii) and for a large enough life span. When altruism is impure, egalitarism is impossible in the context of a growing economy. Either in the Millian case, whatever the life span, or in the Benthamite/impure altruism cases, for small enough life spans, procreation is never optimal, leading to finite time extinction and maximal consumption for all existing individuals.

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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00793188
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  1. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1982. "Population size and the social welfare functions of Bentham and Mill," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 61-64.
  2. Mikhail Golosov & Larry E. Jones & Michele Tertilt, 2004. "Efficiency with endogenous population growth," Working Papers 630, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Raouf Boucekkine & Giorgio Fabbri & Fausto Gozzi, 2009. "Maintenance and investment: complements or substitutes? A reappraisal," Working Papers 2009_21, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  4. Raouf BOUCEKKINE & Omar LICANDRO & Luis A. PUCH & Fernando DEL RIO, 2002. "Vintage Capital And the Dynamics of the AK Model," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/07, European University Institute.
  5. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
  6. Strulik, Holger, 2002. "The Role of Human Capital and Population Growth in R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 170, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, . "vintage human capital, demographic trends and endogenous growth," Working Papers 2000-02, FEDEA.
  8. Raouf Boucekkine & Marc Germain & Omar Licandro, . "Replacement echoes in the vintage capital growth model," Working Papers 96-16, FEDEA.
  9. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:61:p:06 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Eduardo L. Giménez & Mikel Pérez-Nievas, . "Millian Efficiency with Endogenous Fertility," Working Papers 2004-13, FEDEA.
  11. P. S. Dasgupta, 1969. "On the Concept of Optimum Population," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 295-318.
  12. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2007. "The Neolithic Revolution and Contemporary Variations in Life Expectancy," Working Papers 2007-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Fabbri, Giorgio & Gozzi, Fausto, 2008. "Solving optimal growth models with vintage capital: The dynamic programming approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 331-373, November.
  14. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Raouf Boucekkine & Giorgio Fabbri, 2013. "Assessing Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion within a canonical endogenous growth set-up," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 751-767, April.
  16. Raouf Boucekkine & Giorgio Fabbri, 2010. "Assessing the Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion within a canonical endogenous growth set-up," Working Papers 2010_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  17. Palivos, Theodore & Yip, Chong K., 1993. "Optimal population size and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 107-110.
  18. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Growth and redistribution components of changes in poverty measures : A decomposition with applications to Brazil and India in the 1980s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 275-295, April.
  19. Ravallion, M. & Datt, G., 1991. "Growth and Redistribution Components of Changes in Poverty Measures," Papers 83, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  20. 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.
  21. Geir B. Asheim, 2010. "Intergenerational Equity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 197-222, 09.
  22. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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