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Trading off generations: Equity, discounting, and climate change

Author

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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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Maik T. Schneider & Ralph Winkler, 2010. "Growth and Welfare under Endogenous Lifetime," Diskussionsschriften dp1013, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    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. 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.
    5. 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.
    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. Can Askan Mavi, 2017. "What Can Abrupt Events Tell Us About Sustainability ?," Working Papers hal-01628682, HAL.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Andrey Polbin & Andrey Zubarev, 2016. "Will the Paris Accord Accelerate Climate Change?," NBER Working Papers 22731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Discounting; Infinitely lived agents; Intergenerational equity; Overlapping generations; Time preference;

    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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