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Avoiding Extinction: Equal Treatment of the Present and the Future

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  • Graciela Chichilnisky

Abstract

Equal treatment for the present and the future was required in two axioms introduced in Chichilnisky [12] [15]. We provide a characterization of the decision criterion that satisfy the axioms and show that the two axioms are equivalent to physical limits in the long run future. We prove that maximizing discounted utility with a long run survival constraint is equivalent to maximizing a criterion that treats equally the present and the future. The equal treatment axioms are therefore the essence of sustainable development. The "weight" Lambda given to the long run future is here identi.ed with the marginal utility of the environmental asset along a path that narrowly misses extinction. An existence theorem is also provided for optimizing according to the welfare criterion that treats equally the present and the future. We show that no prior welfare criteria satisfy the axioms for sustainable development introduced in [12].

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Paper provided by LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier in its series Working Papers with number 09-07.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision: Aug 2009
Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:09-07

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  1. Chichilnisky, G & Zhou, Y, 1996. "Smooth Infinite Economiesq," Discussion Papers 1996_30, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Heal, Geoffrey & Beltratti, Andrea, 1995. "The Green Golden Rule," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 175-179, August.
  3. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1995. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," MPRA Paper 8609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1977. "Nonlinear functional analysis and optimal economic growth," MPRA Paper 7990, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Beltratti, Andrea & Heal, Geoffrey, 1994. "The environment and the long run: A comparison of different criteria," MPRA Paper 7907, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1977. "Development patterns and the international order," MPRA Paper 7991, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Lauwers, Luc, 1993. "Infinite Chichilnisky rules," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 349-352.
  8. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1997. "What Is Sustainable Development?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 467-491.
  9. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Kalman, P. J., 1979. "Application of functional analysis to models of efficient allocation of economic resources," MPRA Paper 8004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1986. "Topological complexity of manifolds of preferences," MPRA Paper 8119, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Luc Lauwers, 1997. "A note on weak \infty-Chichilnisky rules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 357-358.
  12. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-93, Fall.
  13. Asheim, G.B., 1989. "Unjust Intergenerational Allocations," Papers 09-89, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  14. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2009. "The topology of fear," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(12), pages 807-816, December.
  15. Asheim, Geir B, 1988. "Rawlsian Intergenerational Justice as a Markov-Perfect Equilibrium in a Resource Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 469-83, July.
  16. Krautkraemer, Jeffrey A, 1985. "Optimal Growth, Resource Amenities, and the Preservation of Natural Environments," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 153-70, January.
  17. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1998. "Sustainable development and North-South trade," MPRA Paper 8894, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1994. "Social Diversity, Arbitrage, and Gains from Trade: A Unified Perspective on Resource Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 427-34, May.
  19. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2000. "An axiomatic approach to choice under uncertainty with catastrophic risks," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 221-231, July.
  20. Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1994. "Preferences for Life Saving Programs: How the Public Discounts Time and Age," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 243-65, May.
  21. Debreu,Gerard Introduction by-Name:Hildenbrand,Werner, 1986. "Mathematical Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521335614.
  22. Andrea Beltratti & Graciela Chichilnisky & Geoffrey Heal, 1993. "Sustainable Growth and the Green Golden Rule," NBER Working Papers 4430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Beltratti, Andrea & Heal, Geoffrey, 1998. "Sustainable use of renewable resources, Chapter 2.1," MPRA Paper 8815, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1982. "Social Aggregation Rules and Continuity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 337-52, May.
  25. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Kalman, P.J., 1979. "Comparative statics and dynamics of optimal choice models in Hilbert spaces," MPRA Paper 8001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  26. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2009. "The Limits Of Econometrics: Nonparametric Estimation In Hilbert Spaces," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(04), pages 1070-1086, August.
  27. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Beltratti, Andrea & Heal, Geoffrey, 1998. "Uncertain future preferences and conservation," MPRA Paper 7912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. Graciela Chichilnisky, 2009. "Catastrophic risks," International Journal of Green Economics, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(2), pages 130-141.
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Cited by:
  1. Graciela Chichilnisky & Peter Eisenberger, 2009. "Asteroids: Assessing Catastrophic Risks," Working Papers 09-13, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Nov 2009.

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