17 found
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  1.  79
    The Social Cost of Carbon: Valuing Inequality, Risk, and Population for Climate Policy.Marc Fleurbaey, Maddalena Ferranna, Mark Budolfson, Francis Dennig, Kian Mintz-Woo, Robert Socolow, Dean Spears & Stéphane Zuber - 2019 - The Monist 102 (1):84-109.
    We analyze the role of ethical values in the determination of the social cost of carbon, arguing that the familiar debate about discounting is too narrow. Other ethical issues are equally important to computing the social cost of carbon, and we highlight inequality, risk, and population ethics. Although the usual approach, in the economics of cost-benefit analysis for climate policy, is confined to a utilitarian axiology, the methodology of the social cost of carbon is rather flexible and can be expanded (...)
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  2.  17
    Why the Repugnant Conclusion is Inescapable.Mark Budolfson & Dean Spears - unknown
    The spectre of the repugnant conclusion and the search for a population axiology that avoids it has endured as a focus of population ethics. This is in part because the repugnant conclusion is often interpreted as a defining problem for totalism, while the implications of averagism and related views are taken to illustrate the theoretical cost of avoiding the repugnant conclusion. However, we show that this interpretation cannot be sustained unless one focuses only on a special case of the repugnant (...)
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  3.  27
    Does Climate Change Policy Depend Importantly on Population Ethics? Deflationary Responses to the Challenges of Population Ethics for Public Policy.Mark Budolfson, Gustaf Arrhenius & Dean Spears - forthcoming - Climate Change and Philosophy,.
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  4.  12
    Public Policy, Consequentialism, the Environment, and Non-Human Animals.Mark Budolfson & Dean Spears - unknown
    The focus of this chapter is public policy and consequentialism, especially issues that arise in connection with the environment – i.e. the natural world, including non-human animals. We integrate some of the existing literature on environmental economics, welfare economics, and policy with the literature on environmental values and philosophy. The emphasis on environmental policy is motivated by the fact that it is arguably the most philosophically interesting and challenging application of consequentialism to policy, as it includes all the challenges of (...)
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  5.  26
    The Hidden Zero Problem: Effective Altruism and Barriers to Marginal Impact.Mark Budolfson & Dean Spears - 2019 - In Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.), Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues.
    In this chapter, Mark Budolfson and Dean Spears analyse the marginal effect of philanthropic donations. The core of their analysis is the observation that marginal good done per dollar donated is a product (in the mathematical sense) of several factors: change in good done per change in activity level of the charity in question, change in activity per change in the charity’s budget size, and change in budget size per change in the individual’s donation to the charity in question. They (...)
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  6.  15
    Impact of Population Growth and Population Ethics on Climate Change Mitigation Policy.Mark Budolfson, Noah Scovronick, Francis Dennig, Marc Fleurbaey, Asher Siebert, Robert H. Socolow, Dean Spears & Fabian Wagner - 2017 - Pnas 114 (46).
    Future population growth is uncertain and matters for climate policy: higher growth entails more emissions and means more people will be vulnerable to climate-related impacts. We show that how future population is valued importantly determines mitigation decisions. Using the Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy model, we explore two approaches to valuing population: a discounted version of total utilitarianism (TU), which considers total wellbeing and is standard in social cost of carbon dioxide (SCC) models, and of average utilitarianism (AU), which ignores population size (...)
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  7.  13
    Optimal Climate Policy and the Future of World Economic Development.Mark Budolfson, Francis Dennig, Marc Fleurbaey, Noah Scovronick, Asher Siebert, Dean Spears & Fabian Wagner - 2019 - The World Bank Economic Review 33.
    How much should the present generations sacrifice to reduce emissions today, in order to reduce the future harms of climate change? Within climate economics, debate on this question has been focused on so-called “ethical parameters” of social time preference and inequality aversion. We show that optimal climate policy similarly importantly depends on the future of the developing world. In particular, although global poverty is falling and the economic lives of the poor are improving worldwide, leading models of climate economics may (...)
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  8.  1
    Why Variable-Population Social Orderings Cannot Escape the Repugnant Conclusion: Proofs and Implications.Dean Spears & Mark Budolfson - 2019
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  9.  18
    Does the Repugnant Conclusion Have Important Implications for Axiology or for Public Policy?Mark Budolfson & Dean Spears - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics.
    Formal arguments have proven that avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion is impossible without rejecting one or more highly plausible population principles. To many, such proofs establish not only a deep challenge for axiology, but also pose an important practical problem of how policymaking can confidently proceed without resolving any of the central questions of population ethics. Here we offer deflationary responses: first to the practical challenge, and then to the more fundamental challenge for axiology. Regarding the practical challenge, we provide an (...)
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  10.  5
    Human Health and the Social Cost of Carbon: A Primer and a Call to Action.Mark Budolfson, Noah Scovronick, Valeri N. Vasquez, Frank Errickson, Francis Dennig, Antonio Gasparrini, Shakoor Hajat & Dean Spears - 2019 - Epidemiology 30 (5).
    Over the past few decades, we have improved our understanding of the health impacts of climate change.1 Although many public health researchers have contributed to this knowledge, relatively few are aware of how their work may relate to the social cost of carbon. The social cost of carbon is a core economic concept in climate policy and one that can—and should—benefit directly from research produced by the public health community. The concept’s importance was recently highlighted by this past year’s Nobel (...)
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  11.  7
    Maximizing the Public Health Benefits From Climate Action.Mark Budolfson, George D. Thurston, Sara De Matteis, Kris Murray, Pauline Scheelbeek, Noah Scovronick, Dean Spears & Paolo Vineis - 2018 - Environmental Science and Technology 52 (7).
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  12. Quantifying Animal Well-Being and Overcoming the Challenges of Interspecies Comparisons.Mark Budolfson & Dean Spears - 2009 - In Bob Fischer (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Animal Ethics.
    Animals, like humans, experience different levels of well-being depending on decisions made by others. As a result, the well-being of animals must be included in any full accounting of the well-being consequences of decisions. However, this is almost never done in large-scale policy and investment analyses, even though it is common to quantify the consequences for human welfare in these decision analyses. This is partly due to prejudice, but increasingly also because we do not currently have good methods for quantifying (...)
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  13.  4
    Quantifying India’s Climate Vulnerability.Mark Budolfson, Melissa LoPalo, Dean Spears & Kevin Kuruc - 2020 - In India Policy Forum, NCAER.
    This paper asks about the climate damages that Indian policymakers can expect. What is the likely magnitude of climate damages, and how sensitive are they to the level of warming? How much worse would climate damages be for Indians under, say, 5° of warming rather than 3°? Understanding the magnitude of climate damages and how rapidly they increase as temperature change increases is critical for finding the right climate mitigation policy. This paper provides projections of India’s climate vulnerability on the (...)
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  14.  6
    The Impact of Human Health Co-Benefits on Evaluations of Global Climate Policy.Noah Scovronick, Mark Budolfson, Francis Dennig, Frank Errickson, Marc Fleurbaey, Wei Peng, Robert H. Socolow, Dean Spears & Fabian Wagner - 2019 - Nature Communications 2095 (19).
    The health co-benefits of CO2 mitigation can provide a strong incentive for climate policy through reductions in air pollutant emissions that occur when targeting shared sources. However, reducing air pollutant emissions may also have an important co-harm, as the aerosols they form produce net cooling overall. Nevertheless, aerosol impacts have not been fully incorporated into cost-benefit modeling that estimates how much the world should optimally mitigate. Here we find that when both co-benefits and co-harms are taken fully into account, optimal (...)
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  15.  36
    Additively-Separable and Rank-Discounted Variable-Population Social Welfare Functions: A Characterization.Dean Spears & H. Orri Stefansson - forthcoming - Economic Letters.
    Economic policy evaluations require social welfare functions for variable-size populations. Two important candidates are critical-level generalized utilitarianism (CLGU) and rank-discounted critical-level generalized utilitarianism, which was recently characterized by Asheim and Zuber (2014) (AZ). AZ introduce a novel axiom, existence of egalitarian equivalence (EEE). First, we show that, under some uncontroversial criteria for a plausible social welfare relation, EEE suffices to rule out the Repugnant Conclusion of population ethics (without AZ’s other novel axioms). Second, we provide a new characterization of CLGU: (...)
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  16. Calibrating Variable-Value Population Ethics.Dean Spears & H. Orri Stefansson - manuscript
    Variable-Value axiologies propose solutions to the challenges of population ethics. These views avoid Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion, while satisfying some weak instances of the Mere Addition principle (for example, at small population sizes). We apply calibration methods to Variable-Value views while assuming: first, some very weak instances of Mere Addition, and, second, some plausible empirical assumptions about the size and welfare of the intertemporal world population. We find that Variable-Value views imply conclusions that should seem repugnant to anyone who opposes Total (...)
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  17.  91
    What Should We Agree on About the Repugnant Conclusion?Stéphane Zuber, Nikhil Venkatesh, Torbjörn Tännsjö, Christian Tarsney, H. Orri Stefánsson, Katie Steele, Dean Spears, Jeff Sebo, Marcus Pivato, Toby Ord, Yew-Kwang Ng, Michal Masny, William MacAskill, Nicholas Lawson, Kevin Kuruc, Michelle Hutchinson, Johan E. Gustafsson, Hilary Greaves, Lisa Forsberg, Marc Fleurbaey, Diane Coffey, Susumu Cato, Clinton Castro, Tim Campbell, Mark Budolfson, John Broome, Alexander Berger, Nick Beckstead & Geir B. Asheim - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-5.
    The Repugnant Conclusion served an important purpose in catalyzing and inspiring the pioneering stage of population ethics research. We believe, however, that the Repugnant Conclusion now receives too much focus. Avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion should no longer be the central goal driving population ethics research, despite its importance to the fundamental accomplishments of the existing literature.
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