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Population Ethics

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  • BLACKORBY, Charles
  • BOSSERT, Walter
  • DONALDSON, David

Abstract

This paper reviews the welfarist approach to population ethics. We provide an overview of the critical-level utilitarian population principles and their generalized counterparts, examine important properties of these principles and discuss their relationships to other variable-population social-evaluation rules. We illustrate the difficulties arising in population ethics by means of an impossibility result and present characterizations of the critical-level generalized-utilitarian principles and of three of their sub-classes.

Suggested Citation

  • BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2006. "Population Ethics," Cahiers de recherche 14-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:14-2006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2003. "Population Ethics and the Value of Life," Cahiers de recherche 2003-07, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    2. 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.
    3. Arrhenius, Gustaf, 2000. "An Impossibility Theorem for Welfarist Axiologies," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 247-266, October.
    4. Carlson, Erik, 1998. "Mere Addition and Two Trilemmas of Population Ethics," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 283-306, October.
    5. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 2005. "Multi-profile welfarism: A generalization," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(2), pages 253-267, April.
    6. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 2006. "Anonymous Single-profile Welfarism," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(2), pages 279-287, October.
    7. W. M. Gorman, 1968. "The Structure of Utility Functions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 367-390.
    8. 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.
    9. Hammond, Peter J, 1979. "Equity in Two Person Situations: Some Consequences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1127-1135, September.
    10. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 2007. "Variable-population extensions of social aggregation theorems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(4), pages 567-589, June.
    11. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-1572, October.
    12. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 2002. "Population Principles with Number‐Dependent Critical Levels," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(3), pages 347-368, July.
    13. Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702.
    14. 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.
    15. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
    16. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1989. "What Should We Do About Future Generations?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 235-253, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. C. Simon Fan & Oded Stark, 2008. "Looking At The "Population Problem" Through The Prism Of Heterogeneity: Welfare And Policy Analyses," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 799-835, August.
    2. Fleurbaey, Marc & Michel, Philippe, 2003. "Intertemporal equity and the extension of the Ramsey criterion," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 777-802, September.
    3. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 2003. "The Axiomatic Approach to Population Ethics," Politics, Philosophy & Economics, , vol. 2(3), pages 342-381, October.
    4. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2003. "Population Ethics and the Value of Life," Cahiers de recherche 05-2003, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    5. Ania, Ana B. & Wagener, Andreas, 2009. "The Open Method of Coordination (OMC) as an Evolutionary Learning Process," Discussion Papers in Economics 10332, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Walter Bossert & David Donaldson & Charles Blackorby, 1999. "Rationalizable solutions to pure population problems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 16(3), pages 395-407.
    7. Ravi Kanbur & Diganta Mukherjee, 2007. "Premature Mortality And Poverty Measurement," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 339-359, October.
    8. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 2007. "Variable-population extensions of social aggregation theorems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(4), pages 567-589, June.
    9. Walter Bossert & Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D’Ambrosio, 2019. "Poverty and Time," Themes in Economics, in: Satya R. Chakravarty (ed.), Poverty, Social Exclusion and Stochastic Dominance, pages 63-82, Springer.
      • BOSSERT, Walter & CHAKRAVARTY, Satya R. & D’AMBROSIO, Conchita, 2008. "Poverty and Time," Cahiers de recherche 05-2008, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
      • BOSSERT, Walter & CHAKRAVARTY, Satya R. & D’AMBROSIO, Conchita, 2008. "Poverty and Time," Cahiers de recherche 2008-05, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
      • Walter Bossert & Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2010. "Poverty and Time," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2010-074, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
      • Walter Bossert & Satya R. Chakravarty & Conchita D’Ambrosio, 2008. "Poverty and Time," Working Papers 87, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    10. BOSSERT, Walter, 2006. "Consistent Relations," Cahiers de recherche 03-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    11. Antoine Bommier & Stéphane Zuber, 2008. "Can preferences for catastrophe avoidance reconcile social discounting with intergenerational equity?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(3), pages 415-434, October.
    12. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter, 2004. "Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being," Cahiers de recherche 2004-06, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    13. Charles Blackorby & Walter Bossert & David Donaldson, 2007. "Intertemporal Social Evaluation," International Economic Association Series, in: John Roemer & Kotaro Suzumura (ed.), Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability, chapter 9, pages 131-154, Palgrave Macmillan.
    14. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1999. "Price-Independent Welfare Prescriptions and Population Size," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 111-119, January.
    15. Ritxar Arlegi & Miguel Angel Ballester & María del Carmen Marco & Jorge Nieto, 2000. "Variable population egalitarian ethics and the critical-level: A note," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0013, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population Ethics; Social Evaluation; Welfarism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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