How bad are death and nonexistence, if at all?
When evaluating potential interventions in many sectors (health, environment, autonomous vehicles, etc) it is necessary to directly quantitatively compare being dead with various states of life. Other times, especially when looking at the far future and catastrophic risk, it is necessary to compare nonexistence with various states of existence. I will discuss several ideas relating to these issues, including the possibility of privileging the current state of the world (introducing an asymmetry into the social welfare function). I will also discuss some old and new survey data regarding how people view these tradeoffs, ending with implications for discounting.
Date: 3 December 2019, 12:00 (Tuesday, 8th week, Michaelmas 2019)
Venue: Seminar Room A
Speaker: Prof Julian Jamison (University of Exeter)
Organising department: Department of Economics
Organiser: Rossa O'Keeffe-O'Donovan (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Topics: Economics
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: William Jefferson