The Economics of Human Cloning

57 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2001

See all articles by Gilles Saint-Paul

Gilles Saint-Paul

University of Toulouse I - GREMAQ-IDEI; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: December 2000

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the extent to which market forces create an incentive for cloning human beings. We show that a market for cloning arises if a large enough fraction of the clone?s income can be appropriated by its model. Only people with the highest ability are cloned, while people at the bottom of the distribution of income specialize in surrogacy. In the short run, cloning reduces inequality. In the long run, it creates a perfectly egalitarian society where all workers have a top ability if fertility is uncorrelated with ability and if the distribution of ability among sexually produced children is the same as among their parents. In such a society, cloning has disappeared. If the distribution of genes, rather than abilities, is preserved by sexual reproduction, then cloning eliminates ability-reducing genes but does not necessarily eliminate inequality; nor does it disappear in the long run. Finally, if fertility is negatively correlated with ability, in the long run a reproductive caste of bottom ability people coexist with a cloned, worker caste of top ability agents, while intermediate ability types have disappeared.

Keywords: Human Capital, Income Distribution, Human Cloning, Overlapping Generations, Intergenerational Mobility

JEL Classification: J12, J13, J24, J31, O15

Suggested Citation

Saint-Paul, Gilles, The Economics of Human Cloning (December 2000). IZA Discussion Paper No. 231. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=264793

Gilles Saint-Paul (Contact Author)

University of Toulouse I - GREMAQ-IDEI ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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