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The Rights and Wrongs of Intergenerational Externalities

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  • Clive L Spash

Abstract

Neither environmental economics nor environmental philosophy have adequately examined the moral implications of imposing environmental degradation and ecosystem instability upon our descendants. A neglected aspect of these problems is the supposed extent of the burden that the current generation is placing on future generations. The standard economic position on discounting implies an ethical judgment concerning future generations. If intergenerational obligations exist then two types of intergenerational transfer must be considered: basic distributional transfers and compensatory transfers. Basic transfers have been the central intergenerational concern of both environmental economics and philosophy, but compensatory transfers emphasize obligations of a kind often disregarded.
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Suggested Citation

  • Clive L Spash, 1992. "The Rights and Wrongs of Intergenerational Externalities," Working Papers Series 92/4, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:stl:stlewp:92/4
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. R. C. D'Arge & K. C. Kogiku, 1973. "Economic Growth and the Environment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 61-77.
    2. R. Kerry Turner, 1988. "Wetland Conservation: Economics and Ethics," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: David Collard & David Pearce & David Ulph (ed.), Economics, Growth and Sustainable Environments, chapter 9, pages 121-159, Palgrave Macmillan.
    3. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
    4. Solow, Robert M, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 141-149.
    5. Simpson, David & Walker, James, 1987. "Extending cost-benefit analysis for energy investment choices," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 217-227, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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