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Intertemporal Welfare Economics and the Environment

In: Handbook of Environmental Economics

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  • Heal, Geoffrey

Abstract

I review the complex welfare economic issues that arise in environmental decision-making over very long periods, as in cases relating to climate change and biodiversity loss. I also consider the issues that arise in choosing a discount rate to apply to very long-run projects and indicate how such rates should be chosen.

Suggested Citation

  • Heal, Geoffrey, 2005. "Intertemporal Welfare Economics and the Environment," Handbook of Environmental Economics,in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1105-1145 Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:envchp:3-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. R. H. Strotz, 1955. "Myopia and Inconsistency in Dynamic Utility Maximization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 165-180.
    2. Cropper, Maureen & Laibson, David, 1998. "The implications of hyperbolic discounting for project evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1943, The World Bank.
    3. Bradford, David F, 1975. "Constraints on Government Investment Opportunities and the Choice of Discount Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 887-899, December.
    4. Geir B. Asheim, 1996. "Ethical preferences in the presence of resource constraints," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 23, pages 55-67.
    5. Lauwers, Luc, 1993. "Infinite Chichilnisky rules," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 349-352.
    6. John Ferejohn & Talbot Page, 1978. "On the Foundations of Intertemporal Choice," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 60(2), pages 269-275.
    7. C. C. von Weizsäcker, 1967. "Lemmas for a Theory of Approximate Optimal Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(1), pages 143-151.
    8. Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1994. "Preferences for Life Saving Programs: How the Public Discounts Time and Age," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 243-265, May.
    9. Heal, G., 1998. "Valuing the Future: Economic Theory and Sustainability," Papers 98-10, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
    10. Weitzman, Martin L., 1998. "Why the Far-Distant Future Should Be Discounted at Its Lowest Possible Rate," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 201-208, November.
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    JEL classification:

    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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