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Intergenerational equity, efficiency and constructability

  • Luc LAUWERS

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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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces10.22.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces10.22
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  1. Lauwers, Luc, 2010. "Ordering infinite utility streams comes at the cost of a non-Ramsey set," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 32-37, January.
  2. Zame, William R., 2007. "Can intergenerational equity be operationalized?," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(2), June.
  3. Asheim, Geir B. & d'Aspremont, Claude & Banerjee, Kuntal, 2008. "Generalized time-invariant overtaking," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 394, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2007. "A Mixed Bentham-Rawls Criterion For Intergenerational Equity: Theory And Implications," Departmental Working Papers 2007-03, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  5. Asheim, Geir B. & Mitra, Tapan, 2010. "Sustainability and discounted utilitarianism in models of economic growth," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 148-169, March.
  6. Geir B. Asheim & Kuntal Banerjee, 2010. "Fixed-step anonymous overtaking and catching-up," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 6(1), pages 149-165.
  7. Geir Asheim & Tapan Mitra & Bertil Tungodden, 2012. "Sustainable recursive social welfare functions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 267-292, February.
  8. M. Fleurbaey & P. Michel, 1997. "Intertemporal equity and the extension of the Ramsey criterion," THEMA Working Papers 97-11, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  9. Geir B. Asheim, 2010. "Intergenerational Equity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 197-222, 09.
  10. Armon Rezai & Duncan Foley & Lance Taylor, 2012. "Global warming and economic externalities," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 329-351, February.
  11. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1996. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 231-257, April.
  12. Christopher Chambers, 2009. "Intergenerational equity: sup, inf, lim sup, and lim inf," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 243-252, February.
  13. Heal, G., 1998. "Valuing the Future: Economic Theory and Sustainability," Papers 98-10, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  14. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2000. "Renewable Resources and Economic Sustainability: A Dynamic Analysis with Heterogeneous Time Preferences," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 236-250, November.
  15. Kohei Kamaga & Takashi Kojima, 2010. "On the leximin and utilitarian overtaking criteria with extended anonymity," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 377-392, September.
  16. Luc LAUWERS, 2010. "Purely finitely additive measures are non-constructible objects," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces10.10, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  17. John Chipman & Guoqiang Tian, 2012. "Detrimental externalities, pollution rights, and the “Coase theorem”," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 309-327, February.
  18. ASHEIM, Geir B. & d’ASPREMONT, Claude & BANERJEE, Kuntal, . "Generalized time-invariant overtaking," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2239, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  19. Franck Lecocq & Jean-Charles Hourcade, 2012. "Unspoken ethical issues in the climate affair: Insights from a theoretical analysis of negotiation mandates," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 445-471, February.
  20. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2009. "The topology of fear," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(12), pages 807-816, December.
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