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Population-adjusted egalitarianism

Stéphane Zuber

Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) from HAL

Abstract: Egalitarianism focuses on the well-being of the worst-off person. It has attracted a lot of attention in economic theory, for instance when dealing with the sustainable intertemporal allocation of resources. Economic theory has formalized egalitarianism through the Maximin and Leximin criteria, but it is not clear how they should be applied when population size may vary. In this paper, I present possible justifications of egalitarian-ism when considering populations with variable sizes. I then propose new versions of egalitarianism that encompass many views on how to trade-off population size and well-being. I discuss some implications of egalitarianism for optimal population size. I first describe how population ethical views affects population growth. In a model with natural resources, I then show that utilitarianism always recommend a larger population for low levels of resources, but that this conclusion may not hold true for larger levels.

Keywords: Egalitarianism; Optimal population; Population ethics; Sustainable development; Renewable resources (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic
Date: 2018-11
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Published in 2018

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