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Balancing efficiency and equity in long-run decision-making

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  • Talbot Page
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    Abstract

    The idea of this paper is that "intergenerational majority rule voting" can sometimes be both efficient and equitable, as formalised by an intergenerational application of the Arrow axioms. A decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency to require carbon filtration of drinking water on the grounds of intergenerational equity provides an intuitive example of "intergenerational majority rule voting". The normative principle of intergenerational equity is, intuitively, similar to Jefferson's "The world belongs in usufruct to the living" and the basis of the Supreme Court decision in Pennsylvania v. Planned Parenthood, which was to preserve the basic institutional structure of the "rule of law" in especially divisive cases.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Inderscience Enterprises Ltd in its journal Int. J. of Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 70-86

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    Handle: RePEc:ids:ijsusd:v:6:y:2003:i:1:p:70-86

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    Web page: http://www.inderscience.com/browse/index.php?journalID=25

    Related research

    Keywords: cost–benefit analysis; intergenerational efficiency; intergenerational fairness; stationarity; voting.;

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    Cited by:
    1. Hepburn, Cameron & Koundouri, Phoebe & Panopoulou, Ekaterini & Pantelidis, Theologos, 2009. "Social discounting under uncertainty: A cross-country comparison," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 140-150, March.
    2. Hepburn, Cameron J. & Koundouri, Phoebe, 2007. "Recent advances in discounting: Implications for forest economics," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 169-189, August.

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