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Climate Policy with Bentham-Rawls Preferences

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  • Richard S.J. Tol

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, UK
    Institute for Environmental Studies, Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Abstract

A Bentham-Rawls welfare function is the weighted sum of the net present welfare (Bentham) and the welfare of the worst-off generation (Rawls). If utility is non-decreasing over time, optimal climate policy is more stringent in the near-term under Bentham preferences than under Bentham-Rawls preferences. If utility is decreasing, Bentham-Rawls abatement is higher. If there is a chance of decreasing utility, Bentham-Rawls optimal climate policy is probably less stringent than Bentham policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Sussex in its series Working Paper Series with number 3812.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:sus:susewp:3812

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Keywords: climate policy; social cost of carbon; Bentham-Rawls preferences;

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References

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  1. Geir B. Asheim & Tapan Mitra, 2009. "Sustainability and Discounted Utilitarianism in Models of Economic Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series, CESifo Group Munich 2521, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Tol, Richard S.J., 2013. "Targets for global climate policy: An overview," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 911-928.
  3. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1995. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," MPRA Paper 8609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. David Anthoff & Richard S.J. Tol, 2007. "On International Equity Weights And National Decision Making On Climate Change," Working Papers, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University FNU-127, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Feb 2007.
  5. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Van Long, Ngo, 2009. "A mixed Bentham-Rawls criterion for intergenerational equity: Theory and implications," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 154-168, September.
  6. Zuber, Stéphane & Asheim, Geir B., 2012. "Justifying social discounting: The rank-discounted utilitarian approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1572-1601.
  7. Samuel Fankhauser & Richard S.J. Tol, 2001. "On Climate Change And Economic Growth," Working Papers, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University FNU-10, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jun 2002.
  8. Martin L. Weitzman, 2010. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," NBER Working Papers 16136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Weitzman, Martin L., 2012. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," Scholarly Articles 11315435, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Bentham, Jeremy, 1781. "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number bentham1781.
  11. Van Liedekerke, Luc & Lauwers, Luc, 1997. "Sacrificing the Patrol: Utilitarianism, Future Generations and Infinity," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 159-174, October.
  12. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Charles Figuières & Ngo Van Long & Mabel Tidball, 2013. "The MBR Intertemporal Choice Criterion and Rawls' Just Savings Principle," Working Papers, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier 13-02, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Feb 2013.

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