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Progress and conservation under Rawls's maximin principle

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  • Joaquim Silvestre

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616-8578, USA)

Abstract

I argue the compatibility of progress with Rawls's maximin principle when applied to individual utility functions which are "nonaltruistic" in the sense that any transfer of consumption goods from old to young (resp. from young to old) lowers (resp. increases) old people's utility. The paper shows that necessary conditions for that compatibility are: (A) a bound on the feasible transfers from young to old, and (B) a positive intergenerational stock externality. The analysis implies that the maximin principle has the drawback of making, under mild assumptions, conservation incompatible with progress.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 19 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:19:y:2002:i:1:p:1-27

Note: Received: 15 December 1999/Accepted: 17 April 2000
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Cited by:
  1. Michele Lombardi & Roberto Veneziani, 2009. "Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle," Working Papers 649, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  2. Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2008. "A dynamic analysis of human welfare in a warming planet," Economics Working Papers 1110, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2010.
  3. John E. Roemer & Roberto Veneziani, 2001. "What We Owe Our Children, They Their Children,..," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1326, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

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