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Inequalities in HealthConcepts, Measures, and Ethics$
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Nir Eyal, Samia A. Hurst, Ole F. Norheim, and Dan Wikler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931392.001.0001

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Egalitarian Concerns and Population Change

Egalitarian Concerns and Population Change

Chapter:
(p.74) 6 Egalitarian Concerns and Population Change
Source:
Inequalities in Health
Author(s):

Gustaf Arrhenius

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931392.003.0007

We usually examine our considered intuitions regarding inequality, including health inequality, by comparing populations of the same size. Likewise, the standard measures of inequality and its badness have been developed on the basis of only such comparisons. Real world policies to mitigate inequalities, however, will most often also affect the size of a population. For example, many health policies are very likely to prevent deaths and affect procreation decisions. Hence, we need to consider how to extend measures of inequality to different number cases, that is, how to take into account the complication that population numbers are often not equal between the compared alternatives. Moreover, examining different number case is a fruitful way of probing our ideas about egalitarian concerns and will reveal as yet unnoticed complexities and problems in our current conceptualization of the value of equality, or so I’ll argue.

Keywords:   measures of inequality, population change, the value of equality, future generations, egalitarianism

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