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Intergenerational Equity and the Forest Management Problem

  • Mitra, Tapan

    (Cornell U)

The paper re-examines the foundations of representation of intertemporal preferences that satisfy intergenerational equity, and provides an axiomatic characterization of those social welfare relations, which are representable by the utilitarian ordering, in ranking consumption sequences which are eventually identical. A maximal point of this ordering is characterized in a standard model of forest management. Maximal paths are shown to converge over time to the forest with the maximum sustained yield, thereby providing a theoretical basis for the tradition in forest management, which has emphasized the goal of maximum sustained yield. Further, it is seen that a maximal point coincides with the optimal point according to the well-known overtaking criterion. This result indicates that the more restrictive overtaking criterion is inessential for a study of forest management under intergenerational equity, and provides a more satisfactory basis for the standard forestry model.

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Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 04-17.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:04-17
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  1. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2003. "Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams with Inter-generational Equity: The Impossibility of Being Paretian," Working Papers 03-03, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Mitra, Tapan & Wan, Henry Jr., 1986. "On the faustmann solution to the forest management problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 229-249, December.
  4. Samuelson, Paul A, 1976. "Economics of Forestry in an Evolving Society," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 466-92, December.
  5. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-56, July.
  6. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Yaari, Menahem E, 1977. "A Note on Separability and Quasiconcavity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1183-86, July.
  9. Peter A. Diamond & Tjalling C. Koopmans & Richard E. Williamson, 1962. "Stationary Utility and Time Preference," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 142, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Gerard Debreu & Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1980. "Additively Decomposed Quasiconvex Functions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 574, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. McKenzie, Lionel W., 2005. "Optimal economic growth, turnpike theorems and comparative dynamics," Handbook of Mathematical Economics, in: K. J. Arrow & M.D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Economics, edition 2, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1281-1355 Elsevier.
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