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Trading off generations: Equity, discounting, and climate change

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  • Schneider, Maik T.
  • Traeger, Christian P.
  • Winkler, Ralph

Abstract

The prevailing literature discusses intergenerational trade-offs in climate change predominantly in terms of the Ramsey equation relying on the infinitely lived agent model. We discuss these trade-offs in a continuous time OLG framework and relate our results to the infinitely lived agent setting. We identify three shortcomings of the latter: first, underlying normative assumptions about social preferences cannot be deduced unambiguously. Second, the distribution among generations living at the same time cannot be captured. Third, the optimal solution may not be implementable in overlapping generations market economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Schneider, Maik T. & Traeger, Christian P. & Winkler, Ralph, 2012. "Trading off generations: Equity, discounting, and climate change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1621-1644.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:8:p:1621-1644
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2012.08.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Maik T. Schneider & Ralph Winkler, 2021. "Growth and Welfare under Endogenous Lifetimes," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 123(4), pages 1339-1384, October.
    2. Laurence Kotlikoff & Felix Kubler & Andrey Polbin & Jeffrey Sachs & Simon Scheidegger, 2021. "Making Carbon Taxation A Generational Win Win," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(1), pages 3-46, February.
    3. Kollenberg, Sascha & Taschini, Luca, 2016. "Emissions trading systems with cap adjustments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 20-36.
    4. W. Botzen & Jeroen Bergh, 2014. "Specifications of Social Welfare in Economic Studies of Climate Policy: Overview of Criteria and Related Policy Insights," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(1), pages 1-33, May.
    5. Schultes, Anselm & Piontek, Franziska & Soergel, Bjoern & Rogelj, Joeri & Baumstark, Lavinia & Kriegler, Elmar & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Luderer, Gunnar, 2020. "Economic damages from on-going climate change imply deeper near-term emission cuts," MPRA Paper 103655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Moritz Drupp & Mark Freeman & Ben Groom & Frikk Nesje, 2015. "Discounting disentangled: an expert survey on the determinants of the long-term social discount rate," GRI Working Papers 196a, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    7. Gianluigi Cisco & Andrea Gatto, 2021. "Climate Justice in an Intergenerational Sustainability Framework: A Stochastic OLG Model," Economies, MDPI, vol. 9(2), pages 1-13, April.
    8. Can Askan Mavi, 2017. "What Can Abrupt Events Tell Us About Sustainability ?," Working Papers hal-01628682, HAL.
    9. Carrasco-Garcés, Moisés & Vásquez-Lavín, Felipe & Ponce Oliva, Roberto D. & Diaz Pincheira, Francisco & Barrientos, Manuel, 2021. "Estimating the implicit discount rate for new technology adoption of wood-burning stoves," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    10. Lee H. Endress & Sittidaj Pongkijvorasin & James Roumasset & Christopher Wada, 2013. "Intergenerational Equity with Individual Impatience in an OLG Model of Optimal and Sustainable Growth," Working Papers 2013-9, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    11. Mavi, Can Askan, 2019. "What can catastrophic events tell us about sustainability?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 70-83.
    12. Larry Karp & Armon Rezai, 2014. "The Political Economy Of Environmental Policy With Overlapping Generations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(3), pages 711-733, August.
    13. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Andrey V. ZUBAREV & Andrey POLBIN, 2021. "Will the Paris accord accelerate climate change [Ускоряет Ли Парижское Соглашение Изменение Климата?]," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 8-37, February.
    14. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Liu, Pan, 2020. "Resolving intergenerational conflict over the environment under the Pareto criterion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    15. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Liu, Pan, 2018. "A way to resolve intergenerational conflict over the environment under the Pareto criterion using green bonds," ISU General Staff Papers 201808240700001070, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    16. Endress, Lee H. & Pongkijvorasin, Sittidaj & Roumasset, James & Wada, Christopher A., 2014. "Intergenerational equity with individual impatience in a model of optimal and sustainable growth," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 620-635.
    17. Quaas, Martin F. & Bröcker, Johannes, 2016. "Substitutability and the social cost of carbon in a solvable growth model with irreversible climate change," Economics Working Papers 2016-09, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    18. Lugovoy, O. & Polbin, A., 2016. "On Intergenerational Distribution of the Burden of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 12-39.
    19. Iverson , Terrence & Karp, Larry, 2017. "Carbon taxes and climate commitment with non-constant time preference," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt3hw6s14v, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    20. Karp, Larry & Rezai, Armon, 2017. "Asset prices and climate policy," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt6fx579fp, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    21. Can Askan Mavi, 2019. "What can catastrophic events tell us about sustainability?," Post-Print halshs-02142121, HAL.
    22. Vasquez-Lavín, Felipe & Ponce Oliva, Roberto D. & Hernández, José Ignacio & Gelcich, Stefan & Carrasco, Moisés & Quiroga, Miguel, 2019. "Exploring dual discount rates for ecosystem services: Evidence from a marine protected area network," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 63-80.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Discounting; Infinitely lived agents; Intergenerational equity; Overlapping generations; Time preference;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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