Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 207–232 | Cite as

Infinite-horizon social evaluation with variable population size

  • Kohei KamagaEmail author
Original Paper


We present an infinite-horizon extension of the framework of variable-population social choice. Our first main result is the welfarism theorem using the axiom of intratemporal anonymity. By this theorem, the ranking of social alternatives is determined by an intratemporally anonymous and finitely complete quasi-ordering [which we call social welfare relation (SWR)] defined on the set of all streams of utility vectors of generations. We introduce three SWRs: the critical-level generalized utilitarian (CLGU) SWR, the critical-level generalized overtaking (CLGO) SWR, and the critical-level generalized catching-up (CLGC) SWR. They are infinite-horizon extensions of the critical-level generalized utilitarianism. We characterize (in terms of subrelation) the CLGU SWR with five axioms: Strong Pareto, Finite Anonymity, Weak Existence of Critical Levels, Restricted Continuity, and Existence Independence. Further, the CLGO and the CLGC SWRs are characterized by adding consistency axioms. We also present infinite-horizon reformulations of some population ethics axioms. In particular, we characterize the CLGO and the CLGC SWRs associated with a positive critical level by using the axiom of avoidance of the repugnant conclusion.



I am grateful to two anonymous referees and an editor of this journal. Their detailed comments and suggestions have greatly improved the current version of this paper. I also thank the participants at the 11th Meeting of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare for their comments. All remaining errors are my own. This study is partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) (No. 23730196) from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EconomicsSophia UniversityTokyoJapan

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