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Habit in pollution. A challenge for intergenerational equity

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  • SCHUMACHER, Ingmar
  • ZOU, Benteng

Abstract

In this article we extend the recent literature on overlapping generations and pollution by allowing each generation’s utility to depend on past levels of pollution. To conform with the literature on habit in consumption we call this extension habit in pollution. Habit in pollution can visualize itself as either a concern for the flow of pollution only, or for the stock, or anything in between. We show that habit in pollution has not only significant consequences for the level of pollution and capital, but also for the evolution of utility over time. We observe that habit in pollution can lead to violations of two standard criteria of sustainability, which suggests that habit in pollution can be another source of intergenerational inequity.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2006006.

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Date of creation: 00 Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2006006

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  1. Lind, Robert C, 1995. "Intergenerational equity, discounting, and the role of cost-benefit analysis in evaluating global climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 379-389.
  2. Thomas Seegmuller & Alban Verchere, 2002. "Pollution as a source of endogenous fluctuations and periodic welfare inequality in OLG economies," Working Papers of BETA 2002-18, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  3. John C. V. Pezzey, 1997. "Sustainability Constraints versus "Optimality" versus Intertemporal Concern, and Axioms versus Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 448-466.
  4. Ronald Wendner, 2002. "Capital Accumulation and Habit Formation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(7), pages 1-10.
  5. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2002:i:7:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. de la Croix, David, 1996. "The Dynamics of Bequeathed Tastes," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1996004, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  8. John, A & Pecchenino, R, 1994. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Growth and the Environment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1393-1410, November.
  9. Richard B. Howarth, 1997. "Sustainability as Opportunity," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 569-579.
  10. Scitovsky, Tibor, 1992. "The Joyless Economy: The Psychology of Human Satisfaction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195073478.
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