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carrying capacity and human welfare: a very difficult problem
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carrying capacity and human welfare: a very difficult problem

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    1. Carrying Capacity and Human Welfare: A VERY difficult problem George Loewenstein

    4. All of this assumes that income=welfare, which is unrealistic Population density affects welfare (in ways not captured by income measures) too sparse ? no culture too packed ? low quality of life No consensus about how to define/measure welfare

    5. Alternative measures/definitions of welfare Wealth (income) Happiness Capabilities (and other check-list approaches)

    8. Problems with happiness Adaptation

    9. Subjects 71 patients at University of Michigan Medical Center who had received colostomy or ileostomy paid $25 per completed survey Approached while still in the hospital recovering from their surgery, and asked to participate Interviewed three times: 1 week after release from the hospital one month after release six months after release Surveys included two measures of overall quality of life: 5-item satisfaction with life scale' (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) 'ladder scale', (Cantril, 1967); asks participants where on a 010 ladder they stand at the present time. The top of the ladder (10) represents the best possible life for them, and the bottom (0) represents the worst possible life.

    11. Problems with happiness Leaves out lots of stuff that people care about

    14. Capabilities (Sen & Nussbaum) Identify set of widely agreed upon desiderata Nussbaums basic capabilities: Life Bodily health and integrity Bodily integrity 4. Senses, imagination, thought. Emotions. Practical reason. Affiliation. Other species. Play. Control over one's environment Political Material Strength: appeals to widespread values Weaknesses Arbitrariness? Measurement aggregation

    16. Summary philosophical problems bedevil the problem of examining the relationship between welfare and population measurement problems also create significant problems: no consensus about how to measure welfare different measures will lead to different conclusions about the relationship between population and welfare