IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Non-dictatorial Criterion for Optimal Growth Models


  • Alain Ayong Le Kama

    () (EQUIPPE, Université de Lille I Faculté de sciences économiques et sociales, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France)

  • Cuong Le Van

    () (PSE, University Paris 1, CNRS CES, Paris, France)

  • Katheline Schubert

    () (PSE, University Paris 1, CNRS CES, Paris, France)


There are two main approaches for defining social welfare relations for an economy with infinite horizon. The first one is to consider the set of intertemporal utility streams generated by a general set of bounded consumptions, and define a preference relation between them. This relation is ideally required to satisfy two main axioms, the Pareto axiom, which guarantees efficiency, and the Anonymity axiom, which guarantees equity. Basu and Mitra [2003] show that it is impossible to represent by a function a preference relation embodying both the efficiency and equity requirements and Basu and Mitra [2007] propose and characterize a new welfare criterion called utilitarian social welfare relation. In the same framework, Chichilnisky [1996] proposes two axioms that capture the idea of sustainable growth: non-dictatorship of the present and non-dictatorship of the future, and exhibits a mixed criterion, adding a discounted utilitarian part (with possibly non constant discount rates), which gives a dictatorial role to the present, and a long term part, which gives a dictatorial role to the future. The drawback of Chichilnisky's approach is that it often does not allow to explicitly characterize optimal growth paths with optimal control techniques. Moreover, we observe that the optimal solution obtained with Chichilnisky's criterion, cannot in general be approximated by a sequence of optimal solutions with finite horizon. Our aim is less general than Chichilnisky's, and Basu and Mitra's: we want to have a non-dictatorial criterion for optimal growth models. Instead of l + ∞ as set of utilities, we just consider the set of utilities of consumptions which are generated by a specific technology. We show that the undiscounted utilitarian criterion pioneered by Ramsey [1928] is not only convenient if one wants to solve an optimal growth problem but also sustainable, efficient and equitable.

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Ayong Le Kama & Cuong Le Van & Katheline Schubert, 2008. "A Non-dictatorial Criterion for Optimal Growth Models," Working Papers 14, Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), Vietnam.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpc:wpaper:1408

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:


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

    Cited by:

    1. Verchère, Alban, 2011. "Le développement durable en question : analyses économiques autour d’un improbable compromis entre acceptions optimiste et pessimiste du rapport de l’Homme à la Nature," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 87(3), pages 337-403, septembre.

    More about this item


    Anonymity; intergenerational equity; natural resources; non-dictatorship of the future; non-dictatorship of the present; optimal growth models; Pareto; social welfare function; social welfare relation; sustainability; utilitarian undiscounted criterion;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:dpc:wpaper:1408. 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: (Doan Quang Hung). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.