The economics of cloning

by on August 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm in Economics | Permalink

Here is the abstract of a paper I have not yet read:

In this paper, we analyze the extent to which market forces create an incentive for cloning human beings. We show that a market for cloning arises if a large enough fraction of the clone’s income can be appropriated by its model. Only people with the highest ability are cloned, while people at the bottom of the distribution of income specialize in surrogacy. In the short run, cloning reduces inequality. In the long run, it creates a perfectly egalitarian society where all workers have a top ability if fertility is uncorrelated with ability and if the distribution of ability among sexually produced children is the same as among their parents. In such a society, cloning has disappeared….

That is by Gilles Saint-Paul (original paper here) and you will find it discussed here.

1 Doug August 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm

What is absurd speculation?

2 Mike August 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm

i would see the biggest problem with cloning is figuring out who the legal parents/guardians are

is it the original person that the clone is cloned from
is it the surrogate mother who carries the child to term
or is it the person who pays for it

the biggest problem of cloning is who becomes the legal guardian

3 anon August 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Ken, in a libertarian society every individual is entitled to the fruits of her labor–no more, no less. Why should it be acceptable for parents to claim property rights on their children’s income?

You may claim that parents should be fairly compensated for the cost of bearing and rearing a child, but if Bryan Caplan is right then most or all parents are in fact compensated for these costs.

4 agnostic August 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm

If if if if if if if

There is no “modeling of behavior” here, as they’re not starting from some pattern of real-world facts. It’s pure masturbation, like “what if planets didn’t exert forces at a distance, if they all had engines inside that propelled them, if they could pass through each other,” etc.

Who the hell cares? Stop giving these know-nothing nerds the attention they crave.

5 Andy McKenzie August 23, 2010 at 8:46 pm

By saying you have not read this abstract are you implying that you have read all of the other papers whose abstracts you post?

6 Bill August 23, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Some interesting inheritance issues with cloning: As a clone, I am my father’s son, yet do I stand higher in the inheritance order over a child born of the father and a mother. Will the mother claim the clone as her son, or as her husband’s son by a non-marriage.

7 Andrew August 24, 2010 at 6:57 am

“You have a kid, you have the responsibility.”

Do we get the authority to go along with the responsibility?

8 GeorgeP August 24, 2010 at 9:38 am

It’s sad to see that we might “need” clones because we don’t have enough workers, while at the same time there are many people without jobs and / or starving, etc.

9 Bernard Yomtov August 24, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Do we get the authority to go along with the responsibility?

Authority to do what? Sell your kid for body parts? No.

10 Doug August 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Were you the first born? If so, congratulations, you’re the real person! If not, sorry, you’re just spare parts and free labor for your brother. By your comments I suspect its the latter, so you will just have to get used to your status as a mere copy of a person. The good news is that you can take solace in the fact that you don’t really feel emotions like the rest of us, since you’re just a copy. Just take whatever faux joy you can in your ability to be of service and benefit to your brother (who is, after all, the real you).

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