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Evaluating intergenerational risks

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Abstract

Climate policies have stochastic consequences that involve a great number of generations. This calls for evaluating social risk (what kind of societies will future people be born into) rather than individual risk (what will happen to people during their own lifetimes). We respond to this call by proposing and axiomatizing probability adjusted rank-discounted critical-level generalized utilitarianism (PARDCLU) through a key axiom ensuring that the social welfare order both is ethical and satisfies first-order stochastic dominance. PARDCLU yields a new useful perspective on intergenerational risks, is ethical in contrast to discounted utilitarianism, and avoids objections that have been raised against other ethical criteria. We show that PARDCLU handles situations with positive probability of human extinction and is linked to decision theory by yielding rank-dependent expected utilitarianism — but with additional structure — in a special case

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  • Geir B. Asheim & Stéphane Zuber, 2016. "Evaluating intergenerational risks," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 16011, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:16011
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.
    2. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.
    3. Hoberg, Nikolai & Baumgärtner, Stefan, 2017. "Irreversibility and uncertainty cause an intergenerational equity-efficiency trade-off," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 75-86.
    4. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.
    5. Piacquadio, Paolo G., 2020. "The ethics of intergenerational risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).
    6. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.
    7. Fleurbaey, Marc & Zuber, Stéphane, 2017. "Fair management of social risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 666-706.
    8. Kitti, Mitri, 2018. "Sustainable social choice under risk," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 19-31.
    9. Geir B. Asheim, 2017. "Sustainable growth," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 49(3), pages 825-848, December.
    10. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.
    11. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01677308, HAL.
    12. Marcus Pivato, 2020. "Rank-additive population ethics," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 69(4), pages 861-918, June.
    13. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.
    14. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.
    15. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.
    16. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.
    17. Marc Fleurbaey & Stéphane Zuber, 2016. "Fair management of social risk," Post-Print halshs-00973480, HAL.
    18. Aurélie Méjean & Antonin Pottier & Stéphane Zuber & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change," Post-Print hal-01677308, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social evaluation; population ethics; decision-making under risk; critical-level utilitarianism; social discounting;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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