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

  • Olof Johansson-Stenman

    ()

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

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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 299-310

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:17:y:2000:i:3:p:299-310
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  9. Dreze, Jean & Stern, Nicholas, 1987. "The theory of cost-benefit analysis," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 14, pages 909-989 Elsevier.
  10. Samuel Fankhauser & Richard Tol & DAVID Pearce, 1997. "The Aggregation of Climate Change Damages: a Welfare Theoretic Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 249-266, October.
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  14. Dasgupta, Partha, 1998. "Population, consumption and resources: Ethical issues," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 139-152, February.
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  17. Robert J. Brent, 1984. "Use of Distributional Weights in Cost-Benefit Analysis: a Survey of Schools," Public Finance Review, , vol. 12(2), pages 213-230, April.
  18. Olof Johansson-Stenman, 1998. "On the problematic link between fundamental ethics and economic policy recommendations," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 263-297.
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