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Children as Negative Externalities?

The CEU Campus
Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

According to some egalitarians, justice requires holding people liable for some consequences of their choices, and since under fair background conditions many or most parents choose whether to have children, justice requires that parents be held liable for the costs of children. This line of argument seems particularly forceful when parents´having children creates negative externalities for others. This paper critically examines this view and shows that scrutinising the question it answers - that of who should bear the costs of children - is more important than has been realised to date for formulating a complete and defensible theory of justice.