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Intergenerational Justice in the Hobbesian State of Nature

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  • Paola Manzini

    ()
    (University of St Andrews)

  • Marco Mariotti

    ()
    (University of St Andrews)

  • Roberto Veneziani

    ()
    (Queen Mary University of London)

Abstract

We analyse the issue of justice in the allocation of resources across generations. Our starting point is that if all generations have a claim to natural resources, then each generation should be entitled to exercise veto power on the unpalatable choices of the other generations. We analyse this situation as one of bargaining à la Rubinstein, Safra and Thomson [15], which incorporates a notion of justice as mutual advantage, rather than justice as impartiality, as in the Kantian-Rawlsian tradition. Our framework captures some key aspects of the interaction between isolated agents in a Hobbesian state of nature, in which agents are not placed behind a veil of ignorance, but none of them is sufficiently strong to impose their will against all others (state of war of all against all). We analyse some new social welfare relations emerging from this Hobbesian framework. JEL Categories: D63, Q01

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2010-13.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2010-13

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Keywords: Intergenerational justice; bargaining; Hobbes; social choice.;

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