Intergenerational Equity and Infinite-Population Ethics: a Survey

51 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2024

See all articles by Marcus Pivato

Marcus Pivato

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES)

Marc Fleurbaey

Paris School of Economics

Date Written: March 7, 2024

Abstract

This article surveys the recent literature on infinite-horizon intergenerational social welfare and infinite-population ethics, reviewing the negative and positive results about the existence or constructibility of social preference relations and social welfare functions for infinite populations. Impossibility results primarily refer to the tension between Pareto and Anonymity (or inequality aversion). Positive results include characterizations of core social preference relations with which any relation satisfying desirable properties must be compatible, as well as overtaking criteria, asymptotic criteria, averaging criteria, hyperreal criteria, and criteria that focus on the worst-off.

JEL Classification: D63, D70, D90

Suggested Citation

Pivato, Marcus and Fleurbaey, Marc, Intergenerational Equity and Infinite-Population Ethics: a Survey (March 7, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4751424 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4751424

Marcus Pivato (Contact Author)

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES) ( email )

106-112 Boulevard de l'hopital
Paris Cedex 13, 75647
France

Marc Fleurbaey

Paris School of Economics ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

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