Intertemporally Consistent Population Ethics: Classical Utilitarian Principles

  • Charles Blackorby
  • Walter Bossert
  • David Donaldson
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)

Abstract

Welfarist population ethics uses information about the well-being (utilities) of the individuals who are alive in alternative states of affairs to make social evaluations. Most principles that produce orderings of alternative states employ social value functions of those utilities to generate social preferences.2 The most commonly used principles are classical utilitarianism, whose value function is the simple sum of utilities, and average utilitarianism, whose value function is average utility. Other principles have been proposed as well — see, for example, Blackorby and Donaldson (1984), Hurka (1983), and Ng (1986). Generalized utilitarian rules employ transformed utilities (see Section 4 below).

Keywords

Income Dition Omic Univer Broome 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Blackorby, C. and Donaldson, D. (1984) ‘Social Criteria for Evaluating Population Change’, Journal of Public Economics, vol. 25, pp. 13–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blackorby, C. and Donaldson, D. (1991) ‘Normative Population Theory: A Comment’, Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 8, pp. 261–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blackorby, C. and Donaldson, D. (1992) ‘The Value of Living: A Comment’, Recherches Economiques de Louvain, vol. 58, pp. 143–5.Google Scholar
  4. Blackorby, C., Bossert, W. and Donaldson, D. (1993) ‘Intertemporal Population Ethics: A Welfarist Approach’, discussion paper 93-13, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.Google Scholar
  5. Blackorby, C., Bossert, W. and Donaldson, D. (1995) ‘Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles’, Econometrica, vol. 65, pp. 1303–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blackorby, C., Donaldson, D. and Weymark, J. (1984) ‘Social Choice with Interpersonal Utility Comparisons: A Diagrammatic Introduction’, International Economic Review, vol. 25, pp. 327–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blackorby, C., Primont, D. and Russell, R. R. (1978) Duality, Separability and Functional Structure: Theory and Economic Applications (Amsterdam/ New York: North-Holland/American Elsevier).Google Scholar
  8. Bossert, W. (1990a) ‘Maximin Welfare Orderings with Variable Population Size’, Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 7, pp. 39–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bossert, W. (1990b) ‘Social Evaluation with Variable Population Size: An Alternative Concept’, Mathematical Social Sciences, vol. 19, pp. 143–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bossert, W. (1991) ‘On Intra- and Interpersonal Utility Comparisons’, Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 8, pp. 207–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Broome, J. (1991) Weighing Goods (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).Google Scholar
  12. Broome, J. (1992a) ‘The Value of Living’, Recherches Economiques de Louvain, vol. 58, pp. 125–42.Google Scholar
  13. Broome, J. (1992b) ‘Reply to Blackorby and Donaldson, and Drèze’, Recherches Economiques de Louvain, vol. 58, pp. 167–71.Google Scholar
  14. Broome, J. (1992c) Counting the Cost of Global Warming (Cambridge: White Horse).Google Scholar
  15. Cowen, T. (1989) ‘Normative Population Theory’, Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 6, pp. 33–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cowen, T. (1992) ‘Consequentialism Implies a Zero Rate of Intergenerational Discount’, in Laslett, P. and Fishkin, J. (eds), Justice Between Age Groups and Generations (New Haven/London: Yale University Press).Google Scholar
  17. Dasgupta, P. (1988) ‘Lives and Well-Being’, Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 5, pp. 103–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. d’Asprémont, C. and Gevers, L. (1977) ‘Equity and the Informational Basis of Collective Choice’, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 44, pp. 199–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gorman, W. M. (1968) ‘The Structure of Utility Functions’, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 32, pp. 369–90.Google Scholar
  20. Hammond, P. (1979) ‘Equity in Two-Person Situations: Some Consequences’, Econometrica, vol. 47, pp. 1127–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hammond, P. (1988) ‘Consequentialist Demographic Norms and Parenting Rights’, Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 5, pp. 127–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hurka, T. M. (1982) ‘Average Utilitarianism’, Analysis, vol. 42, pp. 65–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hurka, T. M. (1983) ‘Value and Population Size’, Ethics, vol. 93, pp. 496–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ng, Y.-K. (1986) ‘Social Criteria for Evaluating Population Change: An Alternative to the Blackorby-Donaldson Criterion’, Journal of Public Economics, vol. 29, pp. 375–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Parfit, D. (1976) ‘On Doing the Best for Our Children’, in Bayles, M. (ed.), Ethics and Populations (Cambridge: Schenkman).Google Scholar
  26. Parfit, D. (1982) ‘Future Generations, Further Problems’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 11, pp. 113–72.Google Scholar
  27. Parfit, D. (1984) Reasons and Persons (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  28. Roberts, K. W. S. (1980a) ‘Possibility Theorems with Interpersonally Comparable Welfare Levels’, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 47, pp. 409–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Roberts, K. W. S. (1980b) ‘Interpersonal Comparability and Social Choice Theory’, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 47, pp. 421–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sen, A. (1974) ‘Informational Bases of Alternative Welfare Approaches: Aggregation and Income Distribution’, Journal of Public Economics, vol. 3, pp. 387–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sen, A. (1977) ‘On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis’, Econometrica, vol. 45, pp. 1539–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sen, A. (1991) ‘Welfare Economics and Population Ethics’, presented at the Nobel Jubilee Symposium on Population Development and Welfare, 5–7 December 1991, mimeo, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., USA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Blackorby
    • 1
  • Walter Bossert
    • 2
  • David Donaldson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaCanada
  2. 2.University of WaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations