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Title:Sustainability and discounted utilitarianism in models of economic growth PDF Logo
Authors:Asheim, Geir B.
Mitra, Tapan
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:CESifo working paper 2521
Abstract:Discounted utilitarianism treats generations unequally and leads to seemingly unappealing consequences in some models of economic growth. Instead, this paper presents and applies sustainable discounted utilitarianism (SDU). SDU respects the interests of future generations and resolves intergenerational conflicts by imposing on discounted utilitarianism that the evaluation be insensitive to the interests of the present generation if the present is better off than the future. An SDU social welfare function always exists. We provide a convenient sufficient condition to identify SDU optima and apply SDU to two well-known models of economic growth. We also investigate the axiomatic basis for SDU.
Subjects:Intergenerational equity
sustainability
discounted utilitarianism
egalitarian consumption streams
efficiency
exhaustible resources
JEL:D63
D71
Q01
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

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