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The MBR Intertemporal Choice Criterion and Rawls' Just Savings Principle

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  • Charles Figuières
  • Ngo Van Long
  • Mabel Tidball

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Figuières & Ngo Van Long & Mabel Tidball, 2013. "The MBR Intertemporal Choice Criterion and Rawls' Just Savings Principle," Working Papers 13-02, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Feb 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:13-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Van Long, Ngo, 2009. "A mixed Bentham-Rawls criterion for intergenerational equity: Theory and implications," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 154-168, September.
    2. Geir B. Asheim, 2010. "Intergenerational Equity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 197-222, September.
    3. Charles Figuières & Mabel Tidball, 2016. "Sustainable Exploitation of a Natural Resource: A Satisfying Use of Chichilnisky’s Criterion," Studies in Economic Theory, in: Graciela Chichilnisky & Armon Rezai (ed.), The Economics of the Global Environment, pages 207-229, Springer.
    4. Tol, Richard S.J., 2013. "Climate policy with Bentham–Rawls preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 424-428.
    5. Zuber, Stéphane & Asheim, Geir B., 2012. "Justifying social discounting: The rank-discounted utilitarian approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1572-1601.
    6. 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.
    7. Partha Dasgupta, 2008. "Discounting climate change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 141-169, December.
    8. Estelle Midler & Charles Figuières & Marc Willinger, 2015. "Choice overload, coordination and inequality: three hurdles to the effectiveness of the compensation mechanism?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(3), pages 513-535, October.
    9. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1996. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(2), pages 231-257, April.
    10. John Roemer, 2011. "The Ethics of Intertemporal Distribution in a Warming Planet," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 363-390, March.
    11. Geir B. Asheim, 1988. "Rawlsian Intergenerational Justice as a Markov-Perfect Equilibrium in a Resource Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 469-483.
    12. Long, Ngo Van, 1979. "Two Theorems on Generalized Diminishing Returns and Their Applications to Economic Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 55(148), pages 58-63, March.
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    Cited by:

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    3. Walter Bossert & Kohei Kamaga, 2020. "An axiomatization of the mixed utilitarian–maximin social welfare orderings," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 69(2), pages 451-473, March.

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