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Population growth : a pure welfarist approach.

Renström, T. and Spataro, L. (2019) 'Population growth : a pure welfarist approach.', Journal of public economic theory., 21 (1). pp. 135-166.


In this study we propose a framework based on welfarist principles to deal with several issues concerned with population economics models, such as the Repugnant Conclusion, both in absolute and relative sense, the shape of childbearing costs and population dynamics, under both normative and positive perspectives. We show that the relative critical level criterion can avoid both the assumption of high childbearing costs and the absolute repugnant conclusion (ARC) but cannot avoid the relative repugnant conclusion (RRC). Moreover, optimal fertility is increased by technological shocks and displays cycles. Both ARC and RRC can be avoided by extending the model to a decentralized economy with consumption externalities; in the latter model, a technological shock reduces long‐run fertility and can generate cycles along the transitional path.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Renström, T. & Spataro, L. (2019). Population Growth: A Pure Welfarist Approach. Journal of Public Economic Theory 21(1): 135-166 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:09 September 2018
Date deposited:20 September 2018
Date of first online publication:26 October 2018
Date first made open access:26 October 2020

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