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Balancing efficiency and equity in long-run decision-making

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  • Talbot Page

Abstract

The idea of this paper is that "intergenerational majority rule voting" can sometimes be both efficient and equitable, as formalised by an intergenerational application of the Arrow axioms. A decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency to require carbon filtration of drinking water on the grounds of intergenerational equity provides an intuitive example of "intergenerational majority rule voting". The normative principle of intergenerational equity is, intuitively, similar to Jefferson's "The world belongs in usufruct to the living" and the basis of the Supreme Court decision in Pennsylvania v. Planned Parenthood, which was to preserve the basic institutional structure of the "rule of law" in especially divisive cases.

Suggested Citation

  • Talbot Page, 2003. "Balancing efficiency and equity in long-run decision-making," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 70-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijsusd:v:6:y:2003:i:1:p:70-86
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    Cited by:

    1. Hepburn, Cameron J. & Koundouri, Phoebe, 2007. "Recent advances in discounting: Implications for forest economics," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 169-189, August.
    2. Hepburn, Cameron & Koundouri, Phoebe & Panopoulou, Ekaterini & Pantelidis, Theologos, 2009. "Social discounting under uncertainty: A cross-country comparison," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 140-150, March.
    3. Cameron Hepburn & Greer Gosnell, 2014. "Evaluating impacts in the distant future: cost–benefit analysis, discounting and the alternatives," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 9, pages 140-159 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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