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Maximin: a direct approach to sustainability




We solve directly a general maximin (sustainment, intergenerational-equity) problem. Because the shadow values of a maximin problem do not correspond to the shadow values from a general discounted-utility solution, they correspond to the prices of only a very special competitive economy. Virtual discount factors for the economy arise. They do not correspond to hyperbolic discount factors. Hartwick's rule is derived and generalized naturally to take into account non-autonomous and non-deterministic features of the economy. Under uncertainty, Hartwick's rule is the analytic expression of a form of precautionary principle. Hotelling's rule is a necessary condition, but may be more complex than has been appreciated in simple models. Some interpretations of strong sustainment are special cases of weak sustainment but, paradoxically, may be more difficult to solve.

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  • Cairns, Robert D. & Long, Ngo Van, 2006. "Maximin: a direct approach to sustainability," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 275-300, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:11:y:2006:i:03:p:275-300_00

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