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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. Anthoff, David & Tol, Richard S. J., 2011. "On International Equity Weights and National Decision Making on Climate Change," Papers RB2010/4/2, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  2. Martin L. Weitzman, 2012. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(2), pages 221-244, 03.
  3. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2007. "A Mixed Bentham-Rawls Criterion For Intergenerational Equity: Theory And Implications," Departmental Working Papers 2007-03, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1995. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," MPRA Paper 8609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. 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.
  7. Asheim, Geir B. & Mitra, Tapan, 2010. "Sustainability and discounted utilitarianism in models of economic growth," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 148-169, March.
  8. Samuel Fankhauser & Richard S.J. Tol, 2001. "On Climate Change And Economic Growth," Working Papers FNU-10, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jun 2002.
  9. 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.
  10. Tol, Richard S.J., 2013. "Targets for global climate policy: An overview," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 911-928.
  11. 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.
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