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The environment and the long run: A comparison of different criteria


  • Chichilnisky, Graciela
  • Beltratti, Andrea
  • Heal, Geoffrey


Ws use growth models with natural resources to study the con- sequences of a ranking of intertemporal paths, due to Chichilnisky, which places weight on their very long run or limiting characteristics as well as on their characteristics over any finite period. This criterion shows more intertemporal symmetry or egalitarianism than the dis- counted utilitarian approach, which dearly emphasizes the immediate future at the expense of the long run. In this respect it captures the concerns of those who argue for sustainability and for a heightened sense of responsibility to the future. In some of the examples that we consider, the long-run characteristics of paths optimal by this criterion are a mixture of those of utilitarian paths and the "green golden rule" (the configuration which maximizes long-run sustainable utility from consumption and environment).

Suggested Citation

  • Chichilnisky, Graciela & Beltratti, Andrea & Heal, Geoffrey, 1994. "The environment and the long run: A comparison of different criteria," MPRA Paper 7907, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7907

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heal, Geoffrey M., 1993. "The optimal use of exhaustible resources," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics,in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 855-880 Elsevier.
    2. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1997. "What Is Sustainable Development?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 467-491.
    3. Partha Dasgupta & Geoffrey Heal & Joseph E. Stiflitx, 1980. "The Taxation of Exhaustible Resources," NBER Working Papers 0436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Chichilnisky Graciela & Heal Geoffrey M., 1993. "Competitive Equilibrium in Sobolev Spaces without Bounds on Short Sales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 364-384, April.
    5. John Ferejohn & Talbot Page, 1978. "On the Foundations of Intertemporal Choice," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 60(2), pages 269-275.
    6. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
    7. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Heal, Geoffrey & Beltratti, Andrea, 1995. "The Green Golden Rule," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 175-179, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Noël Bonneuil & Raouf Boucekkine, 2009. "Sustainability, optimality, and viability in the Ramsey model," Working Papers 2009_34, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    2. Döpke, Lena-Katharina & Requate, Till, 2014. "The economics of exploiting gas hydrates," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 355-364.
    3. Verchère, Alban, 2011. "Le développement durable en question : analyses économiques autour d’un improbable compromis entre acceptions optimiste et pessimiste du rapport de l’Homme à la Nature," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 87(3), pages 337-403, septembre.
    4. Charles Figuières & Mabel Tidball, 2012. "Sustainable exploitation of a natural resource: a satisfying use of Chichilnisky’s criterion," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(2), pages 243-265, February.
    5. Rozenberg, Julie & Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2014. "Transition to clean capital, irreversible investment and stranded assets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6859, The World Bank.
    6. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2009. "Avoiding extinction: equal treatment of the present and the future," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 3, pages 1-25.
    7. Mabrouk, Mohamed, 2006. "Allais-anonymity as an alternative to the discounted-sum criterion in the calculus of optimal growth I: Consensual optimality," MPRA Paper 10512, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Heal, Geoffrey & Beltratti, Andrea, 1995. "The Green Golden Rule," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 175-179, August.
    9. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Beltratti, Andrea & Heal, Geoffrey, 1998. "Sustainable use of renewable resources, Chapter 2.1," MPRA Paper 8815, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Semmler, Willi & Sieveking, Malte, 2000. "Critical debt and debt dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(5-7), pages 1121-1144, June.

    More about this item


    Sustainable resources; environment; growth;

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation


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