Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Sustainable Development Planning: Allowing for Future Generations, Time and Uncertainty

Contents:

Author Info

  • Tisdell, Clement A.

Abstract

The most widely accepted view of sustainable economic development is that it is economic development ensuring that each succeeding generation is no less well off than its predecessor. This mainstream approach, however, has several limitations. It can, for example, result in a development path being chosen in which at least some generations could be better off with none being worse off, that is a Paretian inefficient development path. The above mentioned criterion for sustainable development has been justified on the basis of Rawls’ principle of justice, even though the Paretian inefficient case mentioned is inconsistent with this principle. Nonetheless, even if Rawls’ principle is correctly applied to economic development choices, it is doubtful whether it would result in the most desirable social outcome. An alternative criterion is suggested. Apart from this, Rawls’ principle is anthropocentric and influenced by implicit cosmic assumptions. There are also several other philosophical and practical issues that need to be resolved in planning for sustainable development. These include how many future generations should be taken into account in undertaking planning for sustainable development? Should the welfare of each count equally or should less weight be put on the welfare of more distant generations than less distant ones? Is the latter necessary because of greater uncertainty about more distant events or because current generations only feel empathy for their children and grandchildren? Issues involving these matters have, for example, been raised by Herman Daly and by David Pearce. A related matter is what role should discount rates play in planning for sustainable development. For example, is the use of a low or zero social discount rate appropriate in sustainable development planning? Even the application of zero discount rates to human welfare may fail to result in the choice of an optimal development path. Dealing with the presence of uncertainty about future events (which tends to increase for predictions further into the future) remains a major challenge for sustainable development planning. How should this uncertainty be allowed for? Furthermore, it is necessary to consider the implications of bounded rationality for the processes involved in sustainable development planning, and this aspect is also discussed.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/125210
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Queensland, School of Economics in its series Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers with number 125210.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:125210

Contact details of provider:
Postal: St. Lucia, Qld. 4072
Phone: +61 7 3365 6570
Fax: +61 7 3365 7299
Email:
Web page: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/index.html
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: coefficient of concern for future generation; discounting; intergenerational equity; Rawls’ principle of justice; sustainable development; time horizons; Environmental Economics and Policy; Food Security and Poverty;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Tisdell, Clem, 1990. "Economics and the debate about preservation of species, crop varieties and genetic diversity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 77-90, April.
  2. Tisdell, Clement A., 2009. "The Precautionary Principle Revisited: Its Interpretations and their Conservation Consequences," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 55339, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:125210. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.