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Should Animal Welfare Count?

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  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

This paper discusses the standard welfare economics assumption anthropocentric welfarism, i.e. that only human well-being counts intrinsically. New survey evidence from a representative sample in Sweden is presented, indicating that anthropocentrism is strongly rejected, on average. However, most people appear to have a consequentialistic ethics, in line with conventional welfare economics. The moral philosophical literature is also briefly reviewed, and here too anthropocentrism receives little support. Indirect evidence from environmental valuation studies seems also to imply that a non-negligible fraction of people has non-welfaristic and/or non-anthropocentric ethical preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2006. "Should Animal Welfare Count?," Working Papers in Economics 197, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 09 May 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0197
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2725
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Animal welfare; anthropocentrism; welfarism; ethics; ethical preferences; costbenefit analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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