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A Mixed Bentham-Rawls Criterion for Intergenerational Equity


  • Ngo Van Long


This paper proposes a new welfare criterion which satisfies three desiderata: strong sensitivity to the least advantaged, sensitivity to the present, and sensitivity to the future. We develop necessary conditions for optimal paths under this new criterion, and demonstrate that, in a familiar dynamic model of capital accumulation, the optimal growth path exists. The optimal path converges to a steady state which is dependent on the initial stock of capital. Along this path, the minimum standard of living constraint, which is optimally chosen, is binding over some time interval. Optimal paths under the new criterion display properties that seem to be ethically appealing. On propose un nouveau critère d'évaluation du bien-être social qui satisfait trois propriétés : sensibilité au bien-être des membres infortunés de la société, sensibilité au bien-être des générations futures, et sensibilité au bien-être des générations présentes. On obtient les conditions nécessaires pour le sentier optimal sous ce nouveau critère et on montre que le sentier optimal existe dans un modèle d'accumulation du capital sous des conditions normales. Le sentier optimal converge à un état stationnaire qui dépend de la condition initiale. Le long de ce sentier, la contrainte sur le niveau de bien-être minimal, qui est choisi endogènement, est satisfaite avec égalité pendant une certaine phase. Les sentiers optimaux ont des propriétés qui semblent satisfaisantes sur le plan éthique.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngo Van Long, 2007. "A Mixed Bentham-Rawls Criterion for Intergenerational Equity," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-08, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2007s-08

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    Cited by:

    1. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2006. "Decreasing of Oil Extraction: Consumption behavior along transition paths," MPRA Paper 469, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    welfare; distributive justice; sustainable development; intergenerational equity; bien-être social; juste distribution; développement soutenable; équité entre les générations;

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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