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Rationalizable Solutions to Pure Population Problems

  • Charles Blackorby,
  • Walter Bossert
  • David Donaldson,

In pure population problems, a single resource is to be distributed equally among the agents in a society, and the social planner chooses population size(s) and per-capita consumption(s) for each resource constraint and set of feasible population sizes within the domain of the solution. This paper shows that a weak condition regarding the possible choice of a zero population is necessary and sufficient for the rationalizability of a solution by a welfarist social ordering. In addition, solutions that are rationalized by critical-level generalized utilitarianism are characterized by means of a homogeneity property.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 97/12.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notecp:97/12
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  1. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Multi-valued demand and rational choice in the two-commodity case," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 5-10, January.
  2. Lensberg, Terje, 1987. "Stability and Collective Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 935-61, July.
  3. Baigent, Nick & Gaertner, Wulf, 1996. "Never Choose the Uniquely Largest: A Characterization," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 239-49, August.
  4. 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.
  5. Peters Hans & Wakker Peter, 1994. "WARP Does Not Imply SARP for More Than Two Commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 152-160, February.
  6. 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.
  7. Peters, Hans & Wakker, Peter, 1991. "Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives and Revealed Group Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1787-1801, November.
  8. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter & DONALDSON, David, 2006. "Population Ethics," Cahiers de recherche 14-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
  9. Sen, Amartya K, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(115), pages 307-17, July.
  10. Blackorby, C. & Rossert, W. & Donaldson, D., 1994. "Leximin Population Ethics," Working Papers 9412, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
  11. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
  12. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-20, November.
  13. Bossert, Walter, 1994. "Rational choice and two-person bargaining solutions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 549-563, November.
  14. Bossert, Walter, 1993. "Continuous Choice Functions and the Strong Axiom of Revealed Preference," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 379-85, April.
  15. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Internal Consistency of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 495-521, May.
  16. Bossert, Walter, 1990. "Social evaluation with variable population size: an alternative concept," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 143-158, April.
  17. Bossert, W., 1995. "Choices, Consequences, and Rationality," Working Papers 9501, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
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