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Individual and Social optimality of Intergenerational Investments


  • Emilio Padilla Rosa

    () (Universidad Autonóma de Barcelona)

  • Joan Pasqual Rocabert

    () (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona)


Conventional evaluation methods, as the net present value, consider any future consumption applying the time preference of present individuals. A more coherent analysis requires distinguishing between time preferences and the preferences about the consumption to be enjoyed by the individuals of future generations. In this paper we use an overlapping generations model with intergenerational altruism for studying optimality conditions of intergenerational investments. This tool allows us to consider the problem of intergenerational allocation without obviating the individuals’ intertemporal allocation of consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Emilio Padilla Rosa & Joan Pasqual Rocabert, 2005. "Individual and Social optimality of Intergenerational Investments," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 174(3), pages 9-24, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2005:v:174:i:3:p:9-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
    3. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
    4. Richard Howarth & Richard Norgaard, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers and the social discount rate," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(4), pages 337-358, August.
    5. Hultkrantz, Lars, 1992. "Forestry and the bequest motive," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 164-177, March.
    6. Pasqual, Joan & Souto, Guadalupe, 2003. "Sustainability in natural resource management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 47-59, August.
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    More about this item


    Cost-benefit analysis; Future generations; Intergenerational altruism; Net present value; Project appraisal; Time discounting;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate


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