Valuing the Future: Economic Theory and Sustainability
AbstractI develop a framework for thinking about some aspects of sustainability. The framework is one for modeling the dynamic interactions of economic and biological systems, studying the time paths that can emerge from these, and then selecting one of these as optimal. I investigate alternative approaches to optimality, inquiring whether there is a concept of optimality that captures the concerns that underlie the emerging interest in sustainability. I suggest that the essence of sustainability lies in three points: a treatment of the present and the future that places a positive value on the very long run, recognition of all the ways in which environmental assets or natural capital contribute to economic well-being, and recognition of the constraints on economic activity implied by the dynamics of environmental assets.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Columbia - Graduate School of Business in its series Papers with number 98-10.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
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Postal: U.S.A.; COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, PAINE WEBBER , New York, NY 10027 U.S.A
Phone: (212) 854-5553
Web page: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/business/
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MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS ; BIOLOGY ; OPTIMIZATION ; ENVIRONMENT;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
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- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
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- Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
- Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
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