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Growth, Environment and Uncertain Future Preferences

Author

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  • Alain Ayong Le Kama

    (Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies)

  • Katheline Schubert

    (EUREQUA - Equipe Universitaire de Recherche en Economie Quantitative - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

The attitude of future generations towards environmental assets may well be different from ours, and it is necessary to take into account this possibility explicitly in the current debate about environmental policy. The question we are addressing here is: should uncertainty about future preferences lead to a more conservative attitude towards environment? Previous literature shows that it is the case when society expects that on average future preferences will be more in favor of environment than ours, but this result relies heavily on the assumption of a separability between consumption and environmental quality in the utility function. We show that things are less simple when preferences are non-separable: the attitude of the society now depends not only on the expectation of the change in preferences but also on the characteristics of the economy (impatience, intertemporal flexibility, natural capacities of regeneration of the environment, relative preference for the environment), on its history (initial level of the environmental quality) and on the date at which preferences are expected to change (near or far future).

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Ayong Le Kama & Katheline Schubert, 2004. "Growth, Environment and Uncertain Future Preferences," Post-Print hal-00267891, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00267891
    DOI: 10.1023/B:EARE.0000023820.15522.a4
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00267891
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Smulders, Sjak & Gradus, Raymond, 1996. "Pollution abatement and long-term growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 505-532, November.
    2. Alain Ayong Le Kama, 2001. "Preservation and exogenous uncertain future preferences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 18(3), pages 745-752.
    3. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Beltratti, Andrea & Heal, Geoffrey, 1998. "Uncertain future preferences and conservation," MPRA Paper 7912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Partha Dasgupta & Geoffrey Heal, 1974. "The Optimal Depletion of Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 3-28.
    5. Philippe Michel & Gilles Rotillon, 1995. "Disutility of pollution and endogenous growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(3), pages 279-300, October.
    6. Geoffrey Heal & Bengt Kriström, 2002. "Uncertainty and Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 3-39, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uncertainty c ° 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands; Growth; Environment; Preferences; Uncertainty c ° 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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