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Climate Policy with Bentham-Rawls Preferences

  • Richard S.J. Tol


    (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, UK
    Institute for Environmental Studies, Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A Bentham-Rawls welfare function is the weighted sum of the net present welfare (Bentham) and the welfare of the worst-off generation (Rawls). If utility is non-decreasing over time, optimal climate policy is more stringent in the near-term under Bentham preferences than under Bentham-Rawls preferences. If utility is decreasing, Bentham-Rawls abatement is higher. If there is a chance of decreasing utility, Bentham-Rawls optimal climate policy is probably less stringent than Bentham policy.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Sussex in its series Working Paper Series with number 3812.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:sus:susewp:3812
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  1. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1995. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," MPRA Paper 8609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Richard S.J. Tol, 2012. "Targets for Global Climate Policy: An Overview," Working Paper Series 3712, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  3. 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.
  4. Weitzman, Martin L., 2012. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," Scholarly Articles 11315435, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Geir B. Asheim & Tapan Mitra, 2009. "Sustainability and Discounted Utilitarianism in Models of Economic Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2521, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. David Anthoff & Richard S. J. Tol, 2008. "On International Equity Weights and National Decision Making on Climate Change," CESifo Working Paper Series 2373, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Fankhauser, Samuel & S.J. Tol, Richard, 2005. "On climate change and economic growth," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-17, January.
  9. Van Liedekerke, Luc & Lauwers, Luc, 1997. "Sacrificing the Patrol: Utilitarianism, Future Generations and Infinity," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 159-174, October.
  10. Bentham, Jeremy, 1781. "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number bentham1781.
  11. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
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