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A mixed Bentham-Rawls criterion for intergenerational equity: Theory and implications

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  • Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco
  • Van Long, Ngo

Abstract

This paper proposes a welfare criterion that balances the need for development and the concern for the least advantaged generations, and explores its implications. This criterion, called the mixed Bentham-Rawls criterion, moderates the effect of discounting, yet permits some degree of intertemporal trade-off. It is a weighted average of two terms: (a) the sum of discounted utilities and (b) the utility level of the least advantaged generation. We derive necessary conditions to characterize growth paths that satisfy our criterion, and show that in some models with familiar dynamic specifications, an optimal path exists and displays appealing characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:58:y:2009:i:2:p:154-168
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational equity Maximin Sustainable development;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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