Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys some of the issues that arise in policymaking when the well-being of future generations must be taken into account. It considers the different sorts of discounting that may be applied to future well-being, and considers whether any of them are permissible. It next argues that policymakers cannot properly ignore the effects that different policies have on the number of future people who will come into existence. These effects are pervasive, and the chapter goes on to consider what theoretical basis is available for setting a value on them. Finally it describes the “nonidentity effect,” through which a choice of policy affects the identity of people born in the future, and examines what implications it has for intergenerational justice and for the Pareto principle.

Keywords: discounting, prioritarianism, utilitarianism, population ethics, value of population, intuition of neutrality, neutral level, nonidentity, Pareto principle

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.