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