IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ses/arsjes/2005-iii-1.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Intergenerational Ethics under Resource Constraints

Author

Listed:
  • Geir B. Asheim

Abstract

When evaluating long-term policies, economists usually suggest to maximize the sum of discounted utilities. On the one hand, discounted utilitarianism was given a solid axiomatic foundation by Koopmans (Econometrica 1960). On the other hand, this criterion has questionable implications when applied to economic models with resource constraints. This raises the question: What ethical conditions for intergenerational distribution should and can be imposed? I use my discussion of such conditions to illuminate the conflict between equity and efficiency that has been a central theme in the axiomatic literature on intergenerational justice. Moreover, a guide to some recent contributions is presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Geir B. Asheim, 2005. "Intergenerational Ethics under Resource Constraints," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(III), pages 313-330, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2005-iii-1
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sjes.ch/papers/2005-III-1.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Heal, Geoffrey M., 1993. "The optimal use of exhaustible resources," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics,in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 855-880 Elsevier.
    2. Atkinson, Anthony B, 2001. "The Strange Disappearance of Welfare Economics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 193-206.
    3. Kaushik Basu & Tapan Mitra, 2003. "Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams with InterGenerational Equity: The Impossibility of Being Paretian," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1557-1563, September.
    4. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Tungodden, Bertil, 2001. "Justifying Sustainability," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 252-268, May.
    5. Geir Asheim & Bertil Tungodden, 2004. "Resolving distributional conflicts between generations," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 24(1), pages 221-230, July.
    6. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Hartwick, John M. & Mitra, Tapan & Withagen, Cees, 2007. "Constant savings rates and quasi-arithmetic population growth under exhaustible resource constraints," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 213-229, March.
    7. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-974, December.
    8. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1996. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(2), pages 231-257, April.
    9. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
    10. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2007. "Utilitarianism for infinite utility streams: A new welfare criterion and its axiomatic characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 350-373, March.
    11. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    12. Bossert, Walter & Sprumont, Yves & Suzumura, Kotaro, 2007. "Ordering infinite utility streams," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 579-589, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bazhanov, Andrei V., 2013. "Constant-utility paths in a resource-based economy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 342-355.
    2. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2008. "Maximin-optimal sustainable growth in a resource-based imperfect economy," MPRA Paper 16245, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 Jul 2009.
    3. Bazhanov, A., 2011. "The Dependence of the Potential Sustainability of a Resource Economy on the Initial State: a Comparison of Models Using the Example of Russian Oil Extraction," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 12, pages 77-100.
    4. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2011. "Зависимость Долгосрочного Роста Ресурсной Экономики От Начального Состояния: Сравнение Моделей На Примере Российской Нефтедобычи
      [The dependence of the potential sustainability of a resource econom
      ," MPRA Paper 35888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Bazhanov, Andrei & Belyaev, Alexander, 2009. "Адекватность Закрытой Модели Для Российской Экономики В Задаче Сравнительного Анализа Энергетической Стратегии России
      [Adequacy of a closed model for Russian economy in the problem of comparative a
      ," MPRA Paper 15109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2010. "A closed form solution to Stollery's global warming problem with temperature in utility," MPRA Paper 22406, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Andrei Bazhanov, 2012. "A Closed-Form Solution to Stollery’s Problem with Damage in Utility," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 39(4), pages 365-386, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational justice; Discounted utilitarianism; Sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2005-iii-1. 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: (Peter Steiner). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sgvssea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.