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Intergenerational equity, efficiency, and constructibility

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  • Luc Lauwers

Abstract

Global environmental issues - like biodiversity conservation or climate change - are in reality long term issues that are not properly taken into account with traditional models that incorporate the impatience axiom manifested in fixed discount factors and in the use of present discounted utility criteria. When both the short and the very long run are important, one can appeal to overtaking criteria and Chichilnisky criteria. Unfortunately, overtaking criteria are highly incomplete. In order to decrease this incompleteness, stronger anonymity (or equity) axioms were developed. I show that a maximal anonymity axiom compatible with Pareto is a non-constructible object; its existence relies on the Axiom of Choice. The Chichilnisky criterion is based upon two axioms: non dictatorship of the present and non dictatorship of the future. Here, the very long run is captured by a finitely additive measure. Such a measure is a non-constructible object and has therefore no explicit description.
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Suggested Citation

  • Luc Lauwers, 2012. "Intergenerational equity, efficiency, and constructibility," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(2), pages 227-242, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:49:y:2012:i:2:p:227-242
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-011-0603-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Traeger, 2014. "Why uncertainty matters: discounting under intertemporal risk aversion and ambiguity," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(3), pages 627-664, August.
    2. Dubey, Ram Sewak & Laguzzi, Giorgio & Ruscitti, Francesco, 2021. "On social welfare orders satisfying anonymity and asymptotic density-one Pareto," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 26-33.
    3. Alain Ayong Le Kama & Thai Ha-Huy & Cuong Le Van & Katheline Schubert, 2014. "A never-decisive and anonymous criterion for optimal growth models," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(2), pages 281-306, February.
    4. Cairns, Robert D. & Del Campo, Stellio & Martinet, Vincent, 2019. "Sustainability of an economy relying on two reproducible assets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 145-160.
    5. Prajit Dutta & Roy Radner, 2012. "Capital growth in a global warming model: will China and India sign a climate treaty?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(2), pages 411-443, February.
    6. Geir B. Asheim & Tapan Mitra & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "Sustainable Recursive Social Welfare Functions," Studies in Economic Theory, in: Graciela Chichilnisky & Armon Rezai (ed.), The Economics of the Global Environment, pages 165-190, Springer.
    7. Banerjee, Kuntal & Dubey, Ram Sewak, 2014. "Do all constructive strongly monotone inter-temporal orders exhibit impatience?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 66-69.
    8. Jean-Marc Burniaux & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 2016. "Carbon Leakages: A General Equilibrium View," Studies in Economic Theory, in: Graciela Chichilnisky & Armon Rezai (ed.), The Economics of the Global Environment, pages 341-363, Springer.
    9. Marc Fleurbaey & Stéphane Zuber, 2013. "Inequality aversion and separability in social risk evaluation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(3), pages 675-692, November.
    10. repec:ipg:wpaper:2013-002 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Cato, Susumu, 2017. "Unanimity, anonymity, and infinite population," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 28-35.
    12. Elinor Ostrom, 2016. "Nested Externalities and Polycentric Institutions: Must We Wait for Global Solutions to Climate Change Before Taking Actions at Other Scales?," Studies in Economic Theory, in: Graciela Chichilnisky & Armon Rezai (ed.), The Economics of the Global Environment, pages 259-276, Springer.
    13. John Chipman & Guoqiang Tian, 2012. "Detrimental externalities, pollution rights, and the “Coase theorem”," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(2), pages 309-327, February.
    14. Susumu Cato, 2019. "The possibility of Paretian anonymous decision-making with an infinite population," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 53(4), pages 587-601, December.
    15. Kitti, Mitri, 2018. "Sustainable social choice under risk," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 19-31.
    16. Adachi, Tsuyoshi & Cato, Susumu & Kamaga, Kohei, 2014. "Extended anonymity and Paretian relations on infinite utility streams," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 24-32.
    17. Dubey, Ram Sewak, 2016. "On construction of social welfare orders satisfying Hammond equity and Weak Pareto axioms," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 119-124.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational justice; Sustainability; Chichilnisky’s criterion; Overtaking; Axiom of Choice; D63; D71; Q01;
    All these keywords.

    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

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