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Sustainability as Intergenerational Fairness: Efficiency, Uncertainty, and Numerical Methods

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  • Richard T. Woodward

Abstract

This paper presents an economic model of sustainability defined as intergenerational fairness. Assuming that intergenerational fairness is an obligation of each generation, a recursive optimization problem is obtained. The problem has the advantage that uncertainty can readily be incorporated in the model and it can be solved numerically for a wide range of specifications. The possibility of trade-offs between efficiency and sustainability are discussed. Under plausible conditions, it is shown that a sustainability obligation is met only if there is the expectation of economic growth. Copyright 2000, Oxford University Press.

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  • Richard T. Woodward, 2000. "Sustainability as Intergenerational Fairness: Efficiency, Uncertainty, and Numerical Methods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(3), pages 581-593.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:82:y:2000:i:3:p:581-593
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/0002-9092.00048
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    Cited by:

    1. W. Botzen & Jeroen Bergh, 2014. "Specifications of Social Welfare in Economic Studies of Climate Policy: Overview of Criteria and Related Policy Insights," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(1), pages 1-33, May.
    2. Börner, Jan & Higgins, Steven I. & Scheiter, Simon & Kantelhardt, Jochen, 0. "Approximating Optimal Numerical Solutions to Bio-economic Systems: How Useful is Simulation-optimization?," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 52.
    3. Knapp, Keith C. & Franklin, Bradley, 2012. "Sustainability Economics of Groundwater Usage and Management," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124959, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Börner, Jan & Higgins, Steven Ian & Scheiter, Simon & Kantelhardt, Jochen, 2009. "Approximating optimal numerical solutions to bio-economic systems: How useful is simulation-optimization?," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51407, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Torben Andersen, 2014. "Intergenerational redistribution and risk sharing with changing longevity," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 1-27, February.
    6. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Quaas, Martin F., 2009. "Ecological-economic viability as a criterion of strong sustainability under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2008-2020, May.
    7. Mullen, John D., 2001. "An Economic Persective On Land Degradation Issues," Research Reports 27999, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Research Economists.
    8. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M., 2004. "Optimal climate policy is a utopia: from quantitative to qualitative cost-benefit analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 385-393, April.
    9. Bond, Craig A., 2006. "Multi-Sector Sustainability in Agroecosystem Environments: Using Value Function Iteration for Numerical Solutions," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21039, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Richard A. Hunt & Bret R. Fund, 2016. "Intergenerational Fairness and the Crowding Out Effects of Well-Intended Environmental Policies," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 878-910, July.

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