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The rights and wrongs of intergenerational externalities

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  • Spash, Clive L.

Abstract

Neither environmental economics nor environmental philosophy have adequately examined the moral implications of imposing environmental degradation and ecosystem instability upon our descendants. A neglected aspect of these problems is the supposed extent of the burden that the current generation is placing on future generations. The standard economic position on discounting implies an ethical judgment concerning future generations. If intergenerational obligations exist then two types of intergenerational transfer must be considered: basic distributional transfers and compensatory transfers. Basic transfers have been the central intergenerational concern of both environmental economics and philosophy, but compensatory transfers emphasize obligations of a kind often disregarded.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 39253.

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Date of creation: Jan 1992
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Publication status: Published in Environmental Ethics 15.2(1993): pp. 117-132
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39253

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Keywords: Future generations; discounting; intergenerational equity; ethics; rights; deontology; consequences; utilitarian; compensation; harm; environment; pollution;

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  1. Simpson, David & Walker, James, 1987. "Extending cost-benefit analysis for energy investment choices," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 217-227, June.
  2. d'Arge, R C & Kogiku, K C, 1973. "Economic Growth and the Environment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 61-77, January.
  3. Solow, Robert M, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 141-49.
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