Public Goods and Procreation

17 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2013 Last revised: 26 Dec 2014

Date Written: December 1, 2014


Procreation is the ultimate public goods problem. Each new child affects the welfare of many other people, and some children produce uncompensated value that future people will enjoy. This essay addresses challenges that arise if we think of procreation and parenting as public goods. These include whether individual choices are likely to lead to a socially desirable outcome over the long run, and whether changes in laws, social norms, or access to genetic engineering and embryo selection might improve the aggregate outcome of our reproductive choices.

Keywords: public goods, procreation, eugenics, reproductive rights

JEL Classification: D1

Suggested Citation

Anomaly, Jonathan, Public Goods and Procreation (December 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Jonathan Anomaly (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics