Population Growth Research Paper

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If society values the absolute number of people who are happy, it also has a significant effect on the world’s optimal peak temperature.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 and sums only each time period’s discounted average wellbeing.Kuenne Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies and professor of public affairs and the University Center for Human Values.In addition to Scovronick and Fleurbaey, the research team included co-lead author Mark Budolfson, University of Vermont, who earned his Ph. from Princeton in 2012; co-lead author Dean Spears, University of Texas at Austin, who earned his master’s degree in 2007 and Ph. in 2013, both from Princeton; Francis Dennig, Yale-NUS College; Asher Siebert, Columbia University, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton in 2002; Robert H. 2448 Issued in November 1987 NBER Program(s): Labor Studies This paper examines the relationship between population growth and economic growth in developing countries from 1965 to 1985.Our results indicate that developing countries were able to shift their labor force from low-productivity agriculture to the higher-productivity industry and service sectors, and to increase productivity within those sectors, despite the rapid growth of their populations.Yet, how much to invest in policies — like setting an appropriate carbon tax — to protect future generations from environmental destruction depends on how society chooses to value human population, according to a new study published Oct.30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).To determine the ideal mitigation policy, a research team led by Princeton University, the University of Vermont and the University of Texas at Austin employed a climate-economic model to examine two ethical approaches to valuing human population.Under one approach, the researchers assumed that society aims to increase the total number of people who are “happy/well-off.” Under the other approach, the researchers assumed society intends to increase the average level of people’s happiness/well-being.


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