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Satisficing versus optimality: criteria for sustainability

Michel De Lara (), Vincent Martinet and Luc Doyen ()
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Michel De Lara: CERMICS - Centre d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Mathématiques et Calcul Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech

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Abstract: Economic analysis addresses risk and long-term issues with discounted expected utility, focusing on optimality. Viability theory is rooted on satisfying sustainability constraints over time, focusing on feasibility.We build a bridge between these two approaches by establishing that viability is equivalent to an array of degenerate intertemporal optimization problems. First, we focus our attention on the deterministic case. We highlight the connections between the viability kernel and the minimum time of crisis. Carrying on, we lay out stochastic viability, turning the spotlight onto the notions of viable scenario and maximal viability probability. Our conceptual results bring the viability approach closer to the economic approach, especially in the stochastic case and regarding efficiency. We discuss the possible use of viability as a theoretical framework for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem management and climate change issues.

Keywords: optimality; viability; uncertainty; sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Published in Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, Springer Verlag, 2015, 77 (2), pp.281-297. ⟨10.1007/s11538-014-9944-8⟩

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DOI: 10.1007/s11538-014-9944-8

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