Intergenerational Ethics under Resource Constraints
AbstractWhen evaluating long-term policies, economists usually suggest to maximize the sum of discounted utilities. On the one hand, discounted utilitarianism was given a solid axiomatic foundation by Koopmans (Econometrica 1960). On the other hand, this criterion has questionable implications when applied to economic models with resource constraints. This raises the question: What ethical conditions for intergenerational distribution should and can be imposed? I use my discussion of such conditions to illuminate the conflict between equity and efficiency that has been a central theme in the axiomatic literature on intergenerational justice. Moreover, a guide to some recent contributions is presented.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.
Volume (Year): 141 (2005)
Issue (Month): III (September)
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Intergenerational justice; Discounted utilitarianism; Sustainability;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
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