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: Suggested Citation