Intergenerational transfers and the social discount rate
This paper investigates the relationship between intergenerational asset transfers and the choice of the discount rate for use in cost-benefit analysis in a model of a competitive overlapping generations economy constrained by a socially managed exhaustible resource. Provided that there are no distortions in capital markets and that all agents hold perfect foresight, cost-benefit techniques will result in a Pareto efficient resource allocation if the discount rate is set equal to the market rate of interest. But since the path of the interest rate depends on the level of intergenerational transfers, cost-benefit techniques do not ensure a socially desirable distribution of welfare between generations; a social optimum will result only if intergenerational transfers are properly chosen and enforced. Decentralized private altruism may result in intergenerational transfers that both present and future individuals would agree are too small if members of the present generation attach positive weight to the general welfare of future generations, not simply their personal descendants. In a world where intergenerational transfers are non-optimal, second-best policy-making may imply a constrained optimum that is inefficient. Together, these findings suggest that cost-benefit analysis is at best a partial criterion to policy formulation that should be used only in conjunction with ethical principles that define the proper distribution of welfare between present and future generations. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 3 (1993)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
Postal:c/o EAERE Secretariat - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei - Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore 8, I-30124 Venice, Italy
Web page: http://www.eaere.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/environmental/journal/10640/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Abel, Andrew B & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991.
"Fiscal Policy with Impure Intergenerational Altruism,"
Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1687-1711, November.
- Andrew B. Abel & B. Douglas Bernheim, 1988. "Fiscal Policy With Impure Intergenerational Altruism," NBER Working Papers 2613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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..
- Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Howarth, Richard B., 1991. "Intertemporal equilibria and exhaustible resources: an overlapping generations approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 237-252, December.
- Kimball, Miles S., 1987. "Making sense of two-sided altruism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 301-326, September.
- Harberger, Arnold C, 1978. "On the Use of Distributional Weights in Social Cost-Benefit Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages 87-120, April.
- Arnold C. Harberger, 1978. "On the Use of Distributional Weights in Social Cost-Benefit Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: Research in Taxation, pages 87-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Howarth, Richard B & Norgaard, Richard B, 1992. "Environmental Valuation under Sustainable Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 473-477, May.
- Takayama,Akira, 1985. "Mathematical Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521314985, Diciembre.
- Nick Hanley, 1992. "Are there environmental limits to cost benefit analysis?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 33-59, January.
- Nick Hanley, 1990. "Are There Environmental Limits to Cost Benefit Analysis?," Working Papers Series 90/6, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
- Theodore Graham-Tomasi & C. Ford Runge & William F. Hyde, 1986. "Foresight and Expectations in Models of Natural Resource Marketsz," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(3), pages 234-249.
- Howarth, Richard B., 1991. "Intergenerational competitive equilibria under technological uncertainty and an exhaustible resource constraint," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 225-243, November.
- Richard B. Howarth & Richard B. Norgaard, 1990. "Intergenerational Resource Rights, Efficiency, and Social Optimality," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(1), pages 1-11.
- Lind, Robert C., 1990. "Reassessing the government's discount rate policy in light of new theory and data in a world economy with a high degree of capital mobility," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 8-28, March.
- Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, July.
- Arrow, Kenneth J & Lind, Robert C, 1970. "Uncertainty and the Evaluation of Public Investment Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 364-378, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:3:y:1993:i:4:p:337-358. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.