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Intergenerational equity, efficiency and constructability

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  • Luc LAUWERS

Abstract

Global environmental issues - like biodiversity conservation or climate change - are in reality long term issues that are not properly taken into account with traditional models that incorporate the impatience axiom manifested in fixed discount factors and in the use of present discounted utility criteria. When both the short and the very long run are important, one can appeal to overtaking criteria and Chichilnisky criteria. Unfortunately, overtaking criteria are highly incomplete. In order to decrease this incompleteness, stronger anonymity (or equity) axioms were developed. I show that a maximal anonymity axiom compatible with Pareto is a non-constructible object; its existence relies on the Axiom of Choice. The Chichilnisky criterion is based upon two axioms: non dictatorship of the present and non dictatorship of the future. Here, the very long run is captured by a finitely additive measure. Such a measure is a non-constructible object and has therefore no explicit description.

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces10.22.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces10.22

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  1. Asheim, Geir B. & d'Aspremont, Claude & Banerjee, Kuntal, 2010. "Generalized time-invariant overtaking," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 519-533, July.
  2. Fleurbaey, Marc & Michel, Philippe, 2003. "Intertemporal equity and the extension of the Ramsey criterion," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 777-802, September.
  3. Asheim, Geir B. & Mitra, Tapan & Tungodden, Bertil, 2006. "Sustainable recursive social welfare functions," Memorandum 18/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. Franck Lecocq & Jean-Charles Hourcade, 2012. "Unspoken ethical issues in the climate affair: Insights from a theoretical analysis of negotiation mandates," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 445-471, February.
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  7. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2000. "Renewable Resources and Economic Sustainability: A Dynamic Analysis with Heterogeneous Time Preferences," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 236-250, November.
  8. Kohei Kamaga & Takashi Kojima, 2010. "On the leximin and utilitarian overtaking criteria with extended anonymity," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 377-392, September.
  9. Zame, William R., 2007. "Can intergenerational equity be operationalized?," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(2), June.
  10. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2007. "A Mixed Bentham-Rawls Criterion For Intergenerational Equity: Theory And Implications," Departmental Working Papers 2007-03, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  11. Geir B. Asheim, 2010. "Intergenerational Equity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 197-222, 09.
  12. John Chipman & Guoqiang Tian, 2012. "Detrimental externalities, pollution rights, and the “Coase theorem”," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 309-327, February.
  13. Luc LAUWERS, 2009. "Ordering infinite utility streams comes at the cost of a non-Ramsey set," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces09.05, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  14. Christopher Chambers, 2009. "Intergenerational equity: sup, inf, lim sup, and lim inf," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 243-252, February.
  15. Luc LAUWERS, 2010. "Purely finitely additive measures are non-constructible objects," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces10.10, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  16. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2009. "The topology of fear," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(12), pages 807-816, December.
  17. Armon Rezai & Duncan Foley & Lance Taylor, 2012. "Global warming and economic externalities," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 329-351, February.
  18. Geir B. Asheim & Tapan Mitra, 2009. "Sustainability and Discounted Utilitarianism in Models of Economic Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2521, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Geir B. Asheim & Kuntal Banerjee, 2010. "Fixed-step anonymous overtaking and catching-up," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 6(1), pages 149-165.
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Cited by:
  1. Alain Ayong Le Kama & Thai Ha-Huy & Cuong Le Van & Katheline Schubert, 2014. "A never-decisive and anonymous criterion for optimal growth models," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 281-306, February.
  2. Jean-Marc Burniaux & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 2012. "Carbon leakages: a general equilibrium view," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 473-495, February.
  3. Elinor Ostrom, 2012. "Nested externalities and polycentric institutions: must we wait for global solutions to climate change before taking actions at other scales?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 353-369, February.
  4. Marc Fleurbaey & Stéphane Zuber, 2013. "Inequality aversion and separability in social risk evaluation," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 675-692, November.
  5. John A Weymark, . "Social Welfare Functions," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers vuecon-sub-13-00018, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  6. Geir Asheim & Tapan Mitra & Bertil Tungodden, 2012. "Sustainable recursive social welfare functions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 267-292, February.
  7. John Chipman & Guoqiang Tian, 2012. "Detrimental externalities, pollution rights, and the “Coase theorem”," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 309-327, February.
  8. Prajit Dutta & Roy Radner, 2012. "Capital growth in a global warming model: will China and India sign a climate treaty?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 411-443, February.

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