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On the Value of Life in Rich and Poor Countries and Distributional Weights Beyond Utilitarianism

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  • Olof Johansson-Stenman

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Abstract

This paper discusses the use ofdistributional weights in CBA based on a generalBergson-Samuelson SWF. In particular it illustratessome consequences of applying a SWF characterized byconstant inequality aversion (which includes classicalutilitarianism as a special case), together with aconstant relative risk aversion utility function, whencalculating the damage costs of global warming. Itextends and clarifies earlier unintuitive results, andemphasizes that utility must be seen as fully cardinalin terms of levels in this context. In the specialcase of utilitarianism, on the other hand, it issufficient to be able to make interpersonalcomparisons of utility changes. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2000. "On the Value of Life in Rich and Poor Countries and Distributional Weights Beyond Utilitarianism," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(3), pages 299-310, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:17:y:2000:i:3:p:299-310
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1026428314806
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kverndokk, Snorre & Rose, Adam, 2008. "Equity and Justice in Global Warming Policy," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 135-176, October.
    2. Venn, Tyron J. & Quiggin, John, 2007. "Accommodating indigenous cultural heritage values in resource assessment: Cape York Peninsula and the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 334-344, March.
    3. Adler, Matthew & Hammitt, James & Treich, Nicolas, 2012. "The Social Value of Mortality Risk Reduction: VSL vs. the Social Welfare Function Approach," LERNA Working Papers 12.08.365, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    4. Adler, Matthew & Treich, Nicolas, 2014. "Consumption, Risk and Prioritarianism," TSE Working Papers 14-500, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    5. Yamaguchi, Rintaro, 2012. "Discounting, Distribution and Disaggregation," MPRA Paper 46322, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Rintaro Yamaguchi, 2013. "Discounting, Distribution and Disaggregation: Discount Rates for the Rich and the Poor with Climate as a Source of Utility," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(4), pages 440-459, September.
    7. Adler, Matthew D. & Hammitt, James K. & Treich, Nicolas, 2014. "The social value of mortality risk reduction: VSL versus the social welfare function approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 82-93.
    8. Bernard van denBerg & Werner Brouwer & Job van Exel & Marc Koopmanschap, 2005. "Economic valuation of informal care: the contingent valuation method applied to informal caregiving," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 169-183.
    9. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2001. "Should We Use Distributional Weights in CBA When Income Taxes Can Deal with Equity?," Working Papers in Economics 35, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    10. Dritan Osmani, 2013. "Valuing Equally the Environmental Goods in Rich and Poor Countries in a Post-Kyoto World," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 073-099, July.
    11. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Konow, James, 2009. "Fairness Concerns in Environmental Economics - Do They Really Matter and If So How?," Working Papers in Economics 398, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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