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Impatience and Intergenerational Equity in a Model of Sustainable Growth

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Author Info

  • Lee Endress

    (Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, Hawaii)

  • Sittidaj Pongkijvorasin

    (Chulalongkorn University)

  • James Roumasset

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

  • Basharat Pitafi

    (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)

Abstract

We argue that intergenerational neutrality has been prematurely excluded from the dialogue on sustainable growth. By incorporating Burton’s distinction between intragenerational and intergenerational discounting into a model suitable for analyzing sustainability issues, we are able to accommodate some of the underlying concerns. We show that in an economy with a renewable resource, eschewing intergenerational discounting leads to the implication of a sustained growth path, without the necessity of a sustainability constraint. We find that green net national product remains constant along the optimal approach path to golden rule consumption. This avoids the paradox that maximizing sustainable income leads to unsustained consumption and income.

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File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_09-6.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200906.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 14 May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200906

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Keywords: Sustainable development; intergenerational equity; intra-generational discounting; renewable resources; green net national product;

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References

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  1. Weitzman, Martin L, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-62, February.
  2. Endress, Lee H. & Roumasset, James A. & Zhou, Ting, 2005. "Sustainable growth with environmental spillovers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 527-547, December.
  3. Burton Peter S., 1993. "Intertemporal Preferences and Intergenerational Equity Considerations in Optimal Resource Harvesting," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 119-132, March.
  4. Olson, Mancur & Bailey, Martin J, 1981. "Positive Time Preference," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-25, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Lee Endress, 2013. "Sustainable Development and the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative," Working Papers 2013-4, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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