Paolo Piacquadio, University of Oslo

"Intergenerational Population Ethics"


There is no consensus on how to assess intergenerational allocations when population size is endogenous. The most prominent criteria—total and average utilitarianism—attribute respectively too much and too little weight on population size, leading to controversial implications. In this paper, we reexamine the evaluation of intergenerational allocations with endogenous population dynamics. Our proposal identifies a new balance between the well-being and the size of generations, obtained by respecting the fertility preferences of parents. The axiomatic characterization singles out a simple and intuitive family of recursive welfare criteria, which generalize discounted utilitarianism.

(Joint with Jonathan Ho)

Contact person: Frikk Nesje