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The MBR Intertemporal Choice Criterion and Rawls' Just Savings Principle

  • Charles Figuières
  • Ngo Van Long
  • Mabel Tidball

This paper provides general theorems about the control that maxi- mizes the mixed Bentham-Rawls (MBR) criterion for intergenerational justice, which was introduced in Alvarez-Cuadrado and Long (2009). We establish sufficient concavity conditions for a candidate trajectory to be optimal and unique. We also show that the state variable is monotonic un- der rather weak conditions. And finally we prove that inequality among generations, captured by the gap between the poorest and the richest generations, is lower when optimization is performed under the MBR cri- terion rather than under the discounted utilitarian criterion. The two last properties are in line with some aspects of the rawlsian just savings principle.

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File URL: http://www.lameta.univ-montp1.fr/Documents/DR2013-02.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier in its series Working Papers with number 13-02.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:13-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: Avenue Raymond Dugrand, CS 79606, 34960 Montpellier Cedex 2
Phone: +33-467-158-568
Fax: +33-467-158-467
Web page: http://www.lameta.univ-montp1.fr/

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  1. Estelle Midler & Charles Figuières & Marc Willinger, 2013. "Choice overload, coordination and inequality: three hurdles to the effectiveness of the compensation mechanism?," Working Papers 13-01, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Feb 2013.
  2. ALVAREZ-CUADRADO, Francisco & LONG, Ngo Van, 2007. "A Mixed Bentham-Rawls Criterion for Intergenerational Equity : Theory and Implications," Cahiers de recherche 06-2007, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  3. Partha Dasgupta, 2008. "Discounting climate change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 141-169, December.
  4. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1996. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 231-257, April.
  5. Hartl, Richard F., 1987. "A simple proof of the monotonicity of the state trajectories in autonomous control problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 211-215, February.
  6. John Roemer, 2011. "The Ethics of Intertemporal Distribution in a Warming Planet," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 363-390, March.
  7. Tol, Richard S.J., 2013. "Climate policy with Bentham–Rawls preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 424-428.
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